Election Commission of India (ECI)

SRINAGAR — In an indication that elections could be held later this year or earlier next year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered a special summary revision of electoral rolls in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of three years.

In a letter to J&K’s chief electoral officer, as per news agency Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the poll body has directed that the entire exercise of special summary revision shall be completed by October 31, 2022, with the final publication of electoral rolls.

“Consequent upon amendment in Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act by Election Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021, as notified vide the Gazette of India notification No. 67, dated 30 December 2021 and corresponding changes in the Registration of Electors Rule, 1960 notified on 17th June 2022, four qualifying dates, namely, 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, and 1 October are available in the law. In view of the reason explained in the preceding paragraph, the Commission has decided to order SSR, 2022 with respect to 01 October 2022 which is the next qualifying date for the preparation of the electoral roll, after the conclusion of the ongoing pre-revision activities,” reads the letter to CEO.

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“Accordingly, the Commission has directed to carry out the revision activity for Special Summary Revision of Photo Electoral Rolls w.r.t 01.10.2022 as the qualifying date in UT of Jammu and Kashmir,” it further states.

The revision of electoral rolls couldn’t be undertaken in Jammu & Kashmir due to the August 5, 2019, constitutional changes and delimitation exercise.

“I am directed to state that as per existing policy, revision of electoral rolls with reference to 1 January of the coming year as the qualifying date is done in the later part of each year in all States/UTs (normally in the last quarter of a year) so that final publication of the electoral rolls could be made in the first week of January of the succeeding year. However, due to various administrative reasons, this annual revision of the electoral roll could not be undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir after SSR, 2019. In the meantime, delimitation exercise of constituencies in the Union Territory was also in progress and the finally delimited constituencies were notified by the Delimitation Commission on 05th May 2022,” the letter states.

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As per the schedule announced by the ECI, the integrated draft electoral roll shall be published on September 01, 2019.

According to the poll body, the claims and objections can be filed between September 1 to September 30 and they shall be disposed of by October 15. The final publication of electoral rolls shall be done on October 31, the schedule states.

As per the letter, the CEO shall ensure that all activities of pre-revision exercises as prescribed in the Commission’s letter dated 10.06.2022 shall be completed before the draft publication of the electoral roll.

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