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EC removes returning officer

Rajesh B. Nair

PUDUCHERRY: The Election Department has ordered the transfer of Director of Civil Supplies, Kariakal, Prabhakar, who was also Returning Officer for the Assembly polls, to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms for violating the model code of conduct.

Sources in the Election Department told TheHindu that the official was found to have issued the orders for appointment of 91 employees in the Puducherry Agro Services and Industries Corporation.

“In fact more than 800 were appointed as casual labour in PASIC during the end of February. However, 91 of them were appointed as voucher-paid staff and they joined PASIC on March 2, which was a violation of model code of conduct,” said an official.

Of the 91 persons, 72 joined the various wings of PASIC at Karaikal and the remaining 19 in Puducherry, the official said, adding that the Election Commission had been apprised.

The Department would take further disciplinary action based on the direction from the Election Commission, he said.

The Election Department had also ordered the suspension of two clerical-level staff for indulging in political activity, which is against rules.

While Murugan, an assistant attached to the State Cooperative Bank, was found to have actively participated in the activities of the newly formed N. R Congress, Yesudas, a driver in the Agriculture Department, was found canvassing votes for Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam in Kamaraj Nagar constituency recently.

The departments concerned have been asked to issue order suspending both the staff immediately, according to official sources.

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