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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Election Commission directs state governments and Union territories to expedite issuance of 'no-dues certificates'

Certificate is to be given to the person within 48 hours of receiving request, provided there is no outstanding

Saibal Gupta Calcutta Published 05.05.24, 09:49 AM
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The Election Commission has directed state governments and Union territories to expedite the issuance of "no-dues certificates" to electoral candidates, ensuring that those be handed over within 48 hours of the request.

The certificate is to be given to the person within 48 hours of receiving the request, provided there is no outstanding.

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The EC also asked the departments concerned to provide details of dues accrued to such persons within 48 hours of receiving the application and issue the certificate within 24 hours of clearing dues.

The EC wrote: "During ongoing elections to the Lok Sabha, 2024, it has come to the notice of the Election Commission that an intending candidate could not obtain 'No Dues Certificate' from concerned authorities and therefore could not file the same even after the candidate had supposedly cleared all such dues."

The commission was referring to the cancellation of the nomination of BJP's Birbhum candidate and former IPS Debasish Dhar by the Election Commission after the Bengal government allegedly failed to provide the no-dues certificate after his resignation.

The BJP, anticipating that Dhar might not get the certificate from the government, fielded Debtanu Bhattacharya, one of the 11 clusters-in-charge of the BJP in Bengal, as an alternative candidate against Trinamool Congress' Satabdi Roy in Birbhum. Birbhum votes on May 13.

Dhar, who became IPS in 2010 on promotion from the state police service, was suspended and was posted as officer on compulsory waiting after the Sitalkuchi incident in Cooch Behar during the Assembly polls in 2021 when four people were killed by the CISF. Dhar was the SP of Cooch Behar then.

Dhar moved the Supreme Court against his cancellation of nomination but the apex court refused to entertain a plea of the BJP candidate and told him that the decision of the EC was final. The EC, however, took suo motu cognisance of the case and issued the directive to all chief secretaries of the states and Union territories.

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