28th November, 2009

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – ELECTION 2009

Attention of Candidates for Elections to the Council and Regional Councils
Compliance to be ensured by candidates, their authorised representatives/supporters/volunteers, in particular, and members of the institute, in general, within as well as outside the zero tolerance zone in relation to polling booths set up.

As members are aware, the Chartered Accountants (Election to the Council) Rules, 2006 specified under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Election Code of Conduct evolved by the Council, in terms of the said Rules, read with Regulation 134(10) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988, require the candidates, authorized representatives/supporters/volunteers of candidates, in particular, and members of the Institute, in general, to maintain orderly behaviour befitting the status and standards of the profession of chartered accountants within as well as outside the Zero Tolerance Zone of the Polling Booths set up.

The relevant provisions, as contained in the said Rules specified by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Election Code of Conduct evolved by the Council under the said Rules read as under:-

Rule 42:      Disciplinary action against member in connection with conduct of election.

(1)     A member shall be deemed to have brought disrepute to the Council under item (2) of Part IV of the First Schedule of the Act if, in connection with an election to the Council of the Institute, he is found to have contravened the provisions of sub-rule (2) or all or any of the clauses of sub-rule (3) or sub-rule (4) of this rule.

(2)     x        x        x        x

(3)     x        x        x        x

(4)     A member shall not adopt one or more of the following practices with regard to the election to the Council, namely:-

(i)      x        x        x        x

(ii)      x        x        x        x

(iii)     x        x        x        x

(iv)     x        x        x        x

(v)              the hiring or procuring, whether on payment or otherwise, of a vehicle by a candidate or by any other person, with his connivance, for the conveyance of voters;

(vi)            resorting to disorderly behaviour or misbehaviour within the zero tolerance zone to be determined by the Returning Officer of the polling booth and/or venue for counting of votes;

Explanation.- For the purpose of this clause, canvassing for votes, distribution of visiting cards, pamphlets, manifestos, letters, hand-outs, circulars and the like, erection of any stall and display of any banner shall be treated as disorderly behaviour or misbehaviour.

(vii)          exhibiting or placing any notice or sign board relating to the election by a candidate or by any other person with the connivance of the candidate at any time and anywhere during the election period including on the date or dates of polling within a distance of 200 meters from the polling booth.

(viii)        x        x        x        x

(ix)            x        x        x        x

(x)              x        x        x        x

(xi)            x        x        x        x

(xii)          x        x        x        x

[Besides the above, any act specified above, when done by a member, who is not a candidate, but is acting with the concurrence or connivance of a candidate.]

Considering the need for preserving the image of the profession, the Council of the Institute, while putting into operation its Election Code of Conduct, has taken a view, which is more stringent than the aforementioned provisions of the Rules, in so far as the conduct of members at the polling venue is concerned. The relevant guidelines of the Council, as contained in its Election Code of Conduct, read as under:-

“1.      As you may be aware, the Chartered Accountants (Election to the Council) Rules, 2006 has been specified by the Central Government, under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949. Rule 16 of the said Rules requires the Council of the Institute to approve an Election Code of Conduct, with the view to maintain a healthy and peaceful atmosphere during the election process for ensuring a free and fair election. In accordance with this requirement, the Council of the Institute has approved an Election Code of Conduct for candidates and their authorized representatives for required compliance, which is as follows:-

(a)      x        x        x        x

(b)     x        x        x        x

(c)      x        x        x        x

(d)     There shall be a ban on erection of stall, distribution/supply of any gift, any refreshment to voters, display of banners, distribution of pamphlets/visiting cards/letters/circulars or any other publicity materials including free distribution of books/calendars/diaries/handouts and the like during the election days i.e. 4th and 5th December, 2009 inside as well as outside the zero tolerance zone.

(e)      There shall be no supply, at the polling venue, of refreshment(s) to the supporters or volunteers of candidates.

(f)      x        x        x        x

(g)     x        x        x        x

(h)     x        x        x        x

(i)      x        x        x        x

While bringing the aforementioned directives/instructions/guidelines to the specific notice of all concerned, they are hereby required to scrupulously adhere to and comply with the said directives/instructions/guidelines, failing which appropriate action would be initiated.

It may be mentioned that this instruction is issued by the Returning Officer, in terms of the empowerment given for the purpose under Rule 42(4)(viii), which reads as under:-

“42(4)(viii)    non-compliance with any of the directives or circulars or instructions issued by the Returning Officer under these Rules in any matter relating to elections;”

It is also for the general information of candidates and all concerned that video recording is being resorted to, at specified Polling Booths, on experimental basis, which would become the basis for initiating action against disorderly behaviour and/or misbehaviour.

[ Explanation: “Zero Tolerance Zone” would generally start from the main entrance(s) of the office/institution/school etc. in which the polling booth has been set up. The Council’s Election Code of Conduct prohibits the specified activities within as well as outside the zero tolerance. Therefore, nowhere such activities are permissible.]

In addition, steps are also being taken to depute Observers, who will be entrusted with, inter alia, the following tasks:-

(1)     to remain present in the vicinity of the polling booths, to observe conduct of candidates and/or their authorized representatives/supporters/ volunteers and to forward a report on conclusion of the election.

(2)     to remain present within the polling booth chamber to cross verify the number of persons who are exercising their franchise.

(3)     any other duties that may be assigned by the Returning Officer.

Co-operation and support of all candidates and all others concerned are solicited for the sole objective of maintaining/preserving the image of the profession hard-earned and sustained over the years by the elders and forefathers of the profession.

Regional Councils, Branches, CPE Chapters and Study Circles are also required to take note of the above and, consequently, desist from providing/extending any forum/entertainment.

Sd/-

(T. Karthikeyan)

Returning Officer and Secretary

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