Day before the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) polls Additional District Magistrate Leh, Sonam Chosjor has issued an order under Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C).
The orders read,
Whereas, the elections to the 6th LAHDC, Leh is scheduled to be held on 22.10.2020 (From 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM),
Whereas, it is mandatory to conduct the Election in a free and fair manner and to maintain public peace, order, and tranquility as per provisions of Law and Model Code of Conduct as applicable with effect from 18.09.2020.
Whereas, there is possibility of political disputes, confrontation, violence and breach of peace on the eve of the Poll day mainly due to misuse of Hotels, Restaurants, Tea Shops and other food shops/Outlets, Dhabas etc. while carrying out door-to-door campaigning for influencing voters; and, also due to gathering of crowds within the vicinity of 200 meters of the Polling Stations which may cause public nuisance and Law and Order problems;
Whereas, Section 171-B and 171-C of Indian Penal Code clearly disallow attempts of bribery and undue influence on any person or voter, and whoever commits offence of bribery is punishable under Section 171-E of Indian Penal Code and whoever commits the offence of undue influence or impersonation at election is punishable under Section 171-F of Indian Penal Code.
Whereas, I am satisfied that the circumstances do not permit the serving of this order in due time to individually upon the persons against whom this order is directed; and, therefore, under the powers vested in me under Sub-Section (2) of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, I do hereby pass the order exparte.
Therefore, Additional District Magistrate, Leh further notified that, in exercise of the powers vested in me under Sub Section (1) of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, do hereby issue following prohibitory orders to be in force from 6:00AM to 07:00 PM on the day of Poll i.e. 22.10.2020:
i. No candidate shall try to influence voters in any way and thus no public meeting, Procession, Musical Concerts, Rallies or any kind of election campaign shall be allowed during the last 48 hours before the poll i.e. 20.10.2020 (1600 Hours onwards).
ii. That all Restaurants, Bars, Wine Shops, Eateries, Tea Shops, and all other food outlets situated in urban areas of Municipal jurisdiction within 100 meters of the Polling Station shall remain closed at aforesaid date and time.
iii. That all Restaurants, Bars, Wine Shops, Eateries, Tea Shops, and all other food outlets situated in rural areas of Village Panchayat Jurisdiction within 200 meters of the polling Station shall remain closed at a aforesaid date and time.
iv.Vehicle Permissions issued by ADM, Leh and SDMs in favour of contesting candidates for Campaigning/Rallies shall seized to be valid after 20.10.2020 (4 PM). However, the contesting candidates and their agents to ply their vehicles on the poll day shall apply for vehicle passes to the undersigned.
v. There shall be complete ban on any kind of gathering or crowd comprising more than 5 persons within 200 meters of any Polling Stations in the entire Leh District.
I further order that the above restrictions shall not apply to Civil/Police officers/officials on election duty. Failing to comply with this order shall be liable for penal action under Indian Penal Code and other relevant provisions of law in force.