Regular-article-logo Monday, 29 May 2023

Election Commission app that will allow citizens to click and report violations

Users can download the c-VIGIL app from Google Play Store

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 13.03.19, 05:41 PM
The East Singhbhum district administration displays the c-VIGIL app at the collectorate in Jamshedpur

The East Singhbhum district administration displays the c-VIGIL app at the collectorate in Jamshedpur Picture by Bhola Prasad

The Android-based Citizen Vigilance c-VIGIL app, developed by the Election Commission of India (ECI), is all set to be the combat weapon against pre-poll malpractices.

The app is a “game-changer”, said East Singhbhum DC Amit Kumar, also the returning officer for Jamshedpur parliamentary constituency that goes to polls on May 12. On Wednesday afternoon, he said they received the first anonymous complaint on property defacement in Burmamines — political posters being pasted on a house — and acted on it too.


Planning awareness sessions on using the c-VIGIL app, DC Kumar said earlier, model code of conduct violations were not reported on time. With this app, they will be. Also, earlier citizens who wanted to report model code violations had to physically lodge a complaint with the returning officer. This app lets users report from wherever they want and protects their privacy too.

“We will hold awareness sessions at vulnerable booths on using this app. One of the best features of the app which allows whistle-blowers to record pictures and videos of violations is that vested interests can’t mislead surveillance teams away from the site concerned. Photos and videos will be automatically tagged by GIS (geographical information system) location mapping and hence surveillance teams will be directed to the correct spot,” the DC said.

Users will have to download c-VIGIL from the Google Play Store and register after filling the mobile number, name, address and confirm using OTP to activate the app. The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good Internet connection and GPS access to work.

Can the app be misused with people posting doctored or old images to harass political rivals? State additional chief electoral officer Vinay Choubey denied the possibility. “A user won’t be able to save the photos or videos he wants to report on his/her phone and has to send them within five minutes to the local Election Commission appointed field unit, which will spring into action to check the violation,” Choubey said.

He added hate speeches and distribution of gifts and money were among violations that could be recorded on the app and sent to the Election Commission.

East Singhbhum DC Kumar said the app would hide the complainant’s phone number and identity to encourage the masses to report against the high and mighty without fearing a backlash. “The uploaded video or picture will be routed to the district control room and after verification, the flying squad will act in 15 minutes and the complainant will get an action-taken report in 100 minutes,” he said.

The c-VIGIL app was used for the first time during Assembly polls in the fag end of last year in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, where the ECI said 70 per cent complaints were found to be correct.

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