ELECTION 2009- ANNOUNCEMENT- 12th November, 2009

Attention : Overseas Members permitted to Vote by Post

Last date and time for receipt back of recorded ballot Papers in New Delhi – 5.00 pm on 17th December, 2009]

[Permitted mode of dispatch – only by Speed Post, or Registered Post or Ordinary Post]

Queries are being received from voters entitled to vote by post, especially on behalf of overseas voters, about the procedure to be followed, the manner in which the vote is required to be recorded, the manner in which the recorded ballot papers are to be returned, the last date and time by which the ballot papers should reach the Returning Officer at New Delhi, India, and the safeguards to be taken for ensuring that the ballot papers are treated as valid.

In this regard, it may be mentioned that the voters allowed to vote by post will receive a detailed letter, in terms of the applicable provisions of the Chartered Accountants (Election to the Council) Rules, 2006 read with Regulation 134(10) of the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988, containing the minute details to be followed in respect of the above mentioned matters, alongwith the relevant ballot papers and other materials. Voters are required to carefully go through the same and accordingly proceed further so that the franchise exercised effectively become a fruitful one. For your ready reference, we give below the highlights of the instructions to be followed and the safeguards required to be taken.

(a)      The manner in which the Vote be recorded

  • Two different ballot papers pertaining to concerned constituency–one for the Central Council and the other for the Regional Council will be issued.
  • A voter is required to record his vote(s) thereon.
  • Four envelopes in all will be enclosed. These four envelopes include three envelopes of the same size (white in colour) which are meant for three different purposes. Of these three, one envelope is meant for placing the recorded ballot paper pertaining to the Central Council; second one is meant for placing the recorded ballot paper pertaining to the Regional Council; and the third one is meant for placing two different declarations duly filled in and signed by the voter himself, meant for both the Central and Regional Councils. Thereafter, the voter is required to keep the recorded ballot papers and the declaration forms inside the respective three envelopes.
  • The aforementioned three white envelopes should then be kept in the (separate) pre-addressed (to Shri T. Karthikeyan) outer envelope (i.e., the fourth envelope), and the same be thereafter duly pasted.
  • Finally, in the space provided for in the said outer envelope, the voter is required to append his signature which will be verified at our end for the purpose of determining the genuinity.

While recording the vote(s), the voter –

  • shall place on his ballot paper the number 1 (in Arabic or Roman numerals or in words) in the square opposite the name of the candidate for whom he desires to vote;
  • may, in addition, place on his ballot paper the number 2 or the numbers 2 and 3 or the numbers 2, 3 and 4 and so on (in Arabic or Roman numerals or in words) in the squares opposite the names of other candidates in the constituency in the order of  voter’s preference, upto the maximum number of preferences i.e. the total number of candidates; and
  • may however put the cross mark, i.e., ‘X’, against whom the voter does not desire to mention any preference.

It may be noted that the cover containing ballot papers which is not recorded in the manner specified hereinabove, shall not be taken into consideration in the counting of votes.

(b)     The manner in which the recorded ballot papers be returned

The blank ballot paper(s) received are required to be returned by the voter, after recording his vote, only in the following manner:-

  • The envelope containing pre-printed name and address of the Returning Officer, which will be sent by the office, should only be used for returning the recorded ballot paper(s) and declaration forms.
  • The only permitted modes of return of the envelope containing the recorded ballot papers and declaration forms is either ordinary post or Registered or Speed Post. Similarly, the only place/country from where the ballot papers be returned to the Returning Officer is the place/country to which the blank ballot papers and other items referred to above are sent to the voter by the Returning Officer. In other words, the professional address (outside India) given in the List of Voters applicable to the voter’s constituency for the Elections to be held in December, 2009 shall be the country from where the ballot papers and other items referred to above be returned by him.
  • Since it is not possible to provide pre-stamped envelope to overseas voters for returning the recorded ballot papers as is applicable for domestic postal voters, it has been decided to reimburse the expense incurred by the voter towards postage for returning the recorded ballot papers either by Ordinary Post or By Registered Post or By Speed Post, provided the envelope containing recorded ballot papers and declaration forms is received within the last date and time notified i.e. 5.00 P.M. on 17th December, 2009.  It may be noted that reimbursement shall also not be made if any mode other than the three referred to in this para is resorted to. The reimbursable amount will be credited to voter’s membership fee account for the year 2010-11 provided a declaration in this regard is received, from the voter as per the declaration forms enclosed, within the notified time and date as aforesaid.

It may be noted that the cover containing recorded ballot papers not returned in the manner and within time limit specified hereinabove, shall not be taken into consideration in the counting of votes.

(c)      The last date and hour/time by which the ballot papers are to reach the Returning Officer.

  • The ballot papers recorded in the manner specified above and returned in the manner as specified above must reach the Returning Officer by name, viz., Shri T. Karthikeyan, Secretary, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, ICAI Bhawan, Indraprastha Marg, New Delhi-110 002 (India) on or before 5.00 P.M. on 17th December, 2009.

It may be noted that if the cover containing recorded ballot papers and declaration forms does not reach in the specified manner on or before 5.00 p.m. on 17th December, 2009 the same shall also be not taken into consideration in the counting of votes.

In the past, certain errors committed by voters while recording and returning the ballot papers have been observed, and such errors had become the basis/ground for regarding such ballot papers as invalid. For your ready reference, we give below certain grounds/circumstances, besides the conditions specified in the preceding  paragraphs, under which a ballot paper shall be held as invalid or disregarded in terms of the provisions of the said Rules:-

To be held as invalid, if

(i)                 a voter signs his name or writes any other word or figure upon it or makes any mark including a tick ( Ö )/cross (´) not being a mark of `x’ put under para (a) above upon it by which the ballot paper becomes recognisable or by which the voter can be identified; or

(ii)                it is not printed by or under the authority of the Council or it is different in any manner from the ballot paper printed and supplied to a voter; or

(iii)               number 1 (in Arabic or Roman numerals or in words) is not marked on it; or

(iv)             number 1 (in Arabic or Roman numerals or in words) is set opposite the name(s) of more than one candidate; or

(v)              number 1 (in Arabic or Roman numerals or in words) and some other numbers are put opposite the name of the same candidate; or

(vi)             it is unmarked or the marks made are void or cannot be unambiguously determined; or

(vii)            it is so damaged or mutilated that its identity as a genuine ballot paper cannot be established.

To be disregarded, if

  • a cover contains ballot papers relating to two or more members and is posted in one and the same envelope.
  • the signatures of the voter as appended in the (outer) envelope and declaration forms referred to above do not tally with any of his signature(s) as available in the Institute’s records.

It may be noted that in terms of the said Rules, any act in regard to the postal ballot which in any manner could be construed as unfair or improper, might become a subject matter of disciplinary action under item (2) of Part IV of the First Schedule to the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.

It may please be noted that the voters go only by the instructions given in the individual letter sent to them and not to adhere to any advice received/views expressed by anyone else for which the Returning Officer shall not assume any responsibility.

(T. Karthikeyan)

Returning Officer & Secretary

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