As the members are aware, the triennial election to the 25th Council and 24th Regional Councils are slated for 3rd and 4th December, 2021 in select cities (having more 1000 voters) while the polling will be for one day on 4th December, 2021 in other cities.
The election Code of Conduct is in force and shall remain so till the declaration of results and is deemed to be guidelines of the Council under the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and as such, it is obligatory for each candidate to comply with the same. Non-compliance with the provisions of Rule 42 shall also attract disciplinary action against the members of the Institute in terms of the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants (Procedure of Investigations of Professional and Other Misconduct Cases) Rules, 2007.
While bringing the aforesaid general ethical and regulatory requirements for information of all concerned, it has been deemed appropriate to bring the following Do’s and Don’ts (illustrative and not exhaustive) for information and guidance of candidates and their supporters/authorized representatives so that a healthy and peaceful atmosphere is maintained during the election days and at the polling booths.
- 1) A candidate is entitled to be present at any of the polling booth in his constituency including at such polling booth beyond this constituency where the voters of his regional constituency have been permitted to vote by poll in terms of sub-rule 2 of Rule 6.
- 2) A candidate is entitled to appoint any two members as his authorized representatives for each polling booth but only one out of two Authorized Representatives shall be permitted to be present at any given time on behalf of the candidate at the specified/particular booth. (The appointment of such authorized representative shall be through the letter of authority, the format for which has been provided to the candidates and also available on www.icai.org).
- 3) Distance of 200 meters from the room in which a polling booth is set up is treated as ZERO TOLERANCE ZONE for the purpose of elections.
- 4) Facilitate complete freedom of the voters in exercising their franchise without subjecting to any annoyance or obstruction within zero tolerance zone.
The following acts are totally banned inside as well as outside the Zero Tolerance Zone:
- 1) Crowding at the entry point of polling booth.
- 2) Erection of kiosk/stall, putting up tables, chairs, tent/shamiana or pandal by whatever name called, display on vehicles on polling days, and the like in any manner or form whatsoever.
- 3) Display of banners/hoardings/standees etc.
- 4) Distribution/supply of any gift to voters.
- 5) Serving tea/coffee, snacks and lunch to volunteers, supporters of the candidates and the voters within the zero tolerance zone.
- 6) Wearing or displaying the pla-cards, badges, t-shirts, caps or any other display material indicating the Name or Photograph or Serial/Ballot No. of the candidate during the polling days.
- 7) Display of banners, distribution/supply of pamphlets/letters/circulars or any other publicity material including free distribution of books/calendars/diaries/handouts, in physical form or electromagnetic/electronic storage devices and the like.
- 8) Intimidation and impersonation of voters, providing transportation to voters and canvassing in any form/mode, excepting one to one communication, 24 hours before the commencement of polling and during the polling days.
- 9) Distribution of cards inside the Zero Tolerance Zone.
- 10) Inducing a voter to vote or not to vote.
- 11) Undue influence – direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere on the part of a candidate or his supporters, with the connivance of candidate, with the free exercise of any electoral right.
- 12) Hiring or procuring, whether on payment or otherwise, of a vehicle by a candidate or by any other persons with the connivance of candidate, for the conveyance of voters.
- 13) Canvassing for voters inside the Zero Tolerance Zone.
The aforesaid is titled as Instructions for the purpose of regulatory requirements but I would prefer to deem it as an APPEAL to the professionals belonging to the great profession of Chartered Accountants. I am confident that the conduct of each and every one involved/associated with the election would provide such conducive atmosphere that would encourage the voters to reach polling booth and cast their vote in a free and fair manner without any inconvenience.
I earnestly seek your help, support and cooperation for seamless conduct and completion of election in a manner befitting the profession of Chartered Accountants.