Failure of a candidate to produce details of social media account in the election affidavit cannot be treated as a ground for rejection of nomination papers, the Election Commission has ruled.
Responding to queries from chief electoral officers, the Commission has said, “…non-furnishing of information about social media account in Form 26 shall not be treated as a ground for considering the affidavit in Form 26 as incomplete or to reject the nomination paper.”
It said in case a candidate fails to furnish such detail, he should not be asked to file a fresh affidavit but should be directed to provide the details on a plain paper.
The poll panel had issued similar instructions when the Delhi CEO had sought a clarification in this regard in October 2013. It had then also said that if a candidate does not have an email id, then he should fill ‘nil’ or ‘NA’ in the space provided to give such information.
The Commission, in a recent instruction, has asked the CEOs to convey its clarification to returning officers of states where Rajya Sabha elections are being held.
In September 2013, the EC had ordered that knowing about a candidate is the voter’s natural right in a democracy, and non-disclosure of information by a contestant in his or her affidavit, leaving the relevant columns blank, will result in rejection of the nomination papers.