Definition :– In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires: -
“candidate” means a contesting candidate;
“Counting agent” means a counting agent duly appointed under rule 63 and includes a candidate when present at the counting
Time and place for counting of votes. –
Where a poll is taken, votes shall be counted by, or under the supervision or direction of, the Returning Officer and each candidate and his counting agent shall have a right to be present at the time of counting.
The returning officer shall at least one week before the date, or the first of the dates fixed for the poll, appoint the place or places, where the counting of votes will be done and the date and time at which the counting will commerce and shall notice of the same in writing to each candidate or his election agent Provided that if for any reason the returning officer finds it necessary so to do, he may alter the date, time and place or places so fixed or any of them, after giving notice of the same in writing to each candidate or his election agent.
Appointment of counting agents and revocation of such appointments –
The number of counting agent that a candidate may appoint shall, subject to such general or special direction as the Election Commission may issue in this behalf, not exceed sixteen at the place or each of the place fixed for counting under rule 62.
Every such appointment shall be made in form 15 in the duplicate, one copy of which shall be forwarded to the returning officer while the other copy shall be made over to the counting agent for production before the returning officer before 6.P.M on the day immediately preceding the date fixed for counting under rule 62.
No counting agent shall be admitted into the place fixed for counting unless he has delivered to the returning officer the second copy of his appointment under sub-rule (2) , after duly completing and signing the declaration contained therein and receiving from the returning officer and authority for entry into the place fixed for counting
Any revocation of the appointment of a counting agent shall be signed by the candidate in Form 16 and shall operate form the date on which it is lodged with the returning officer and in the event of such a revocation or of the death of a counting agent before the commencement of the counting of votes, the candidate may appoint another counting agent in accordance with sub-rule (2) at any time before the counting of votes is commenced and shall forthwith give notice thereof to the returning officer.
Admission to the place fixed for counting :–
The returning officer shall exclude from the place fixed for counting of votes all person except –
such persons as he may appoint to assist him in the counting;
candidates and their counting agents;
person authorized by the Election Commission; and
public servant ion duty in connection with the election.
No person who has been employed by or on behalf of, or has been otherwise working for a candidate in or about the election shall be appointed under clause (a) sub-rule (1).
The returning officer shall decide which counting agent or agent shall watch the counting at any particular counting table of counting tables.
Any person who during the counting of votes misconducts himself or fails to obey the lawful direction of the returning officer may be removed form the place where the votes are being counted by the returning officer or by police officer on duty or by any person authorized in this behalf by the returning.
Maintenance of secrecy of voting :-
The returning officer shall, before he commencement counting, read out the provisions of section 26 to such persons as may be present.
Scrutiny and opening of ballot boxes :-
The returning officer may have the ballot boxes used at more than one polling station opened and their contents counted simultaneously.
Before any ballot box is opened at a counting table, the counting agents present at the table shall be allowed to inspect the paper seal or such other seal as might have been affixed thereon and to satisfy themselves that it is intact.
The returning officer shall satisfy himself that none of the ballot boxes has in fact been tampered with.
It the returning officer is satisfied that any ballot box has in fact been tampered with he shall not counted the ballot papers contained in that box and shall follow the procedure laid down in rule 31 in respect polling station.
The counting of ballot papers shall be done after mixing the ballot papers, after opening ballot boxes of a wars or as per direction issued by the Election Commissioner.
66A.Scrutiny and inspection of voting machines :-
The returning officer may have the control units of the voting machines used at more than one polling stations taken up for scrutiny and inspection and votes recorded in such unit counted simultaneously.
Before the votes recorded in any control unit of a voting machine are counted under sub-rule (1), the candidate or his counting agent present at the counting table shall be allowed to inspect the papers seal and such other vital seals as might have been affixed on the unit and to satisfy themselves that the seals are intact.
The returning officer shall satisfy himself that none of the voting machines has in fact been tampered with.
IF the returning officer is satisfied that any voting machine has in fact been tempered with, he shall not count the votes recorded in that machine and shall follow the procedure laid down in rule 66 (4) or in rules 30, 31 and 70 as may be applicable in respect of the polling station where that machine was used.
Scrutiny and rejecting of ballot papers :–
The ballot papers taken out of each ballot box shall be arranged in convening bundles and scrutinized.
The returning officer shall reject a ballot papers –
if it bears any mark or writing by which the lector can be identified; or
if no vote is recorded thereon ; or
if votes are given on it in favour of more than one candidate; or
if the mark indicating the vote thereon is places in such manner as to make it doubtfull to which candidate the vote has been given; or
if it is a spurious ballot paper; or
if is so damaged or mutilated that its identity as a genuine ballot paper cannot be established; or
if it bears a serial number, or is of a design, different form the serial numbers or, as the may be design of the ballot papers authorized for use at the particular polling station; or
if it does not bear the mark which it would have borne under the provision of sub-rule (1) of rule 43. Provided that where the returning officer is satisfied that any such defect as is mentioned in clause (g) or clause (h) has been caused by any mistake or failure on the part of a presiding officer or polling officer, the ballot papers shall not be rejected merely on the ground of such defect: Provided further that a ballot paper shall not be rejected merely on the ground that the mark including the vote is indistinct or made more than once, if the intention that the vote shall be for a particular candidate clearly appears from the way the paper is marked.
Before rejecting any ballot papers under sub-rule (2), the returning officer shall allow each counting agent present a reasonable opportunity to inspect the ballot the ballot papers but shall not allow him to handle it or any other ballot paper.
The returning officer shall record on every ballot paper which he rejects the letter ‘R’ and the grounds of rejection I abbreviated from either in his own hand or by means of a rubber stamp.
All ballot papers rejected under this rule shall be bundled together.
67A.Counting of votes when E.V. Ms. Are used :-
After the returning officer is satisfied that a voting machine has in fact no been tempered with, he shall have the votes recorded therein counted by pressing the appropriate button marked “Result” provided in the control unit whereby the total votes polled and votes polled by each candidate shall be displayed in respect of each such candidate on the display panel provided for the purpose in the unit.
As the votes polled by each candidate are displayed on the control unit, the returning officer shall have, -
the number of such votes recorded separately in respect of each candidate in part-II on Form 11C;
part II of from 11C completed in other respects and signed by the counting supervision and also b y the candidates or their counting agents present; and
corresponding entries made in a result sheet in Form 17 and the particulars so entered in the result sheet announced.
Counting of votes. –
Every ballot paper which is not rejected under rule 67 shall be counted as one valid vote: Provided that no cover containing tendered ballot papers shall be opened and no such paper shall be counted.
After the counting of all ballot papers contained in all the ballot boxes use at a polling station has been completed, the returning officer shall make the entries in result sheet in Form 17 and announce the particulars.
The valid ballot papers shall thereafter be bundled together and kept along with the bundle of rejected ballot paper in a separate packet which shall be sealed and on which shall be recorded the following particulars, namely: -
the name of the ward;
the particulars of the polling station where the ballot papers have been used; and
the date of counting.
63-ASealing of voting machines :–
After the result of voting recorded in a control unit has been ascertained candidate-wise and entered in Form 17 under rule 68, the returning officer shall reseal the unit with his seal and the seals of such of the candidates or their election agents as are present who may desire to affix their seals thereon so however that the result of voting recorded in the unit is not obliterated and the unit retains the memory of such result
The control unit so sealed shall be kept in a specially prepared boxes on which the retuning officer shall record the following particulars , namely-
the name of the Ward;
the particulars of polling station or stations where the control unit has been used:
serial number of the control unit;
date of poll, and
date of counting”;
the provisions of rules 69, 70,72, 74 and 75 shall, so far as may be, apply in relation to voting by voting machines and any references in those rules to
ballot paper shall be construed as including a reference to such voting machine;
may rule shall be construed as a reference to the corresponding rules 53A 53 X or, as the case may be, to rules 66A 67A and 68A.
Counting to be continuous :-The returning officer shall , as far as practicable, proceed continuously with the counting and shall, during any intervals when the counting has to be suspended, keep the ballot papers. Packets and all others relating to the election sealed with his own seal and the seal of such, candidates, as may desire to affix their seals and take sufficient precaution for their safe custody during such intervals.
Counting after fresh polls :-
If a fresh poll is held under rule 41, the returning officer shall, after completion of that poll recommence the counting of votes on the date and at the time and place which have been fixed him in that behalf and of which notice has been previously given to the candidates and their election agents.
The provision of rules 67 and 68 shall apply so far may be to such further counting.
Scrutiny and counting of postal ballot papers :–
Before the counting of ballot papers fond in ballot boxes has been completed, the returning officer shall deal with the postal ballot papers in the manner hereinafter provided.
No cover in Form 14-C received by the returning officer after the expiry of the time fixed in the behalf shall be opened and no vote cortained in any such cover shall be counted.
The other cover shall be opened one after another and as each cover is opened, the returning officer shall first scrutinize the declaration in Form 14-A contained therein.
If the said declaration is not found, or has not been duly signed and attested, or is otherwise defective or if it differs from the serial number endorsed on the cover in Form 14-B, that cover shall not be opened and after making an appropriate endorsement thereon, the returning officer shall reject the postal ballot paper herein contained.
Each cover so endorsed and the declaration received with it shall be placed in the cover in Form 14-C and all such covers in Form 14-C shall be kept in a separate packet which shall be sealed and on which shall be recorded the name of the ward the date of counting and a brief description of its contents.
The returning officer shall then place all the declaration in Form 14-A which he has found to be in order in a separate packet which shall be sealed before any cover in Form 14-B is opened and on which shall be recorded the particulars to in sub-rule (5)
The covers in Form 14-B not already dealt with under the foregoing provisions of this rule shall then be opened one after another and the returning officer shall scrutinize each postal ballot paper and decide the validity of the vote-recorded thereon.
A postal ballot paper shall be rejected
if no vote is recorded thereon or
if votes are given on it in favour of more candidates than one; or
if it is spurious ballot paper’ or
if it is damaged or mutilated that its identity as a genuine ballot paper cannot be established and
if it is not returned in the cover sent along with it to the elector by the returning officer.
A vote recorded on a postal ballot paper shall be rejected if the mark indicating the vote is placed on the ballot paper in such manner as to make it doubtful to which candidate the vote has been given.
A vote recorded on a postal ballot paper shall not be rejected merely on the grounds that the mark indicating the vote is indistinct or made more than once if the intention that the vote shall before a particular candidate clearly appears from the way the ballot paper is marked.
The returning officer shall count all the valid votes given by postal ballot in favour of each candidate, record the total thereof in the result sheet in Form 17 and announce the same.
Thereafter all the valid postal ballot papers and all the rejected postal ballot papers shall be separately bundled and kept together in a packet which shall be sealed and on which shall be recorded the name of the ward, the date of counting and a brief description of its contents.
Recount of Votes :–
After the completion of the counting the returning officer shall record in the result sheet in Form 17, the total number of votes polled by each candidate and announce the same .
After such announcement has been made, a candidate may apply in writing to the returning officer for a recount of all or any of the ballot papers, already counted, stating the ground on which he demands such recount.
On such an application being made the returning officer, shall decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject it in to if it appears to him to be frivolous or unreasonable.
Every decision of the returning officer under sub-rule (3) shall be in writing and contain the reason therefore
If the returning officer decides under sub-rule (3) to allow an application either whole or in part, he shall: -
count the ballot papers again in accordance with his decision;
amend the result sheet in Form 17 to the extent necessary after such recount, and
announce the amendment made by him
After the total number of votes polled by each candidate has been announced under sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (5). The returning officer shall complete and sign the result sheet in Form 17 and no application for a recount shall be entertained thereafter. Provided that no step under this sub-rule shall be taken on the completion of the counting until the candidates present at the completion thereof have been given a reasonable opportunity to exercise the right conferred by sub-rule (2).
“72 A. Destruction, loss, etc., of ballot papers at the time of counting
If at any time before the counting of votes is completed, any ballot papers used at a polling station or at a place fixed for the poll or voting machine or machines as the case may be, used at a polling station or at a place fixed for the poll, are unlawfully taken out of the custody of the returning officer or are accidentally or intentionally destroyed or lost or are damaged or tampered with, to such an extent that the result of the poll at that polling station or place cannot be ascertained, the returning officer shall forthwith report the matter to the Election Commission.
Thereupon, the Election Commission shall, after taking all material circumstances into account, either
direct that the counting of votes shall stopped, declare the poll at that polling station or place to be void, appoint a day, and fix the hours, for taking a fresh poll at that polling station or place and notify the date so appointed and hours so fixed in such manner as it may deem fit, or
if satisfied that the result of a fresh poll at that polling station or place will not, in any way, affect the result of the election, issue such directions to the returning officer as it may deem proper for the resumption and completion of the counting\ and for the further conduct and completion of the election in relation to which the votes have been counted.
The provisions of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 and of any rules or orders made there under shall apply to every such fresh poll as they to the original poll”.
Equality of votes :–
If any equality of votes is found to exist between candidates and the addition of one vote will entitle any of those candidates to be declared elected, the retuning officer, shall decide between those candidates by lot and proceed as if the candidates on whom the lot falls had received an additional vote. 73-A. Definitions :–
IN this chapter unless the context otherwise requires-,
'candidate’ means a contesting candidate.
‘ward’ means a ward of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi;
‘counting agent’ means a counting agent duly appointed under rule63 and includes a candidate when present at the counting.
73-B. Counting of votes where machines have been used :– In relation to counting to votes at a polling station, where voting machine has been used-
The provision of rules 61 to 65 and in lieu of rules 66, 67 and 68, the following rules shall respectively apply namely: - Rules 66A,67A and 68A
Declaration of result of election :-
The returning officer shall, subject to the provision of rule, 73 if and so far as they apply to the particular case, declare to be elected the candidate to whom the largest number of valid votes had been given, complete and certify the return of election in Form 18 and send signed copies thereof the Election Commissioner.
Grant of certificate of election to returned candidates : –
As soon as may be after a candidate has been declared by the returning officer under rule 74 to be elected, the returning officer shall grant to such candidate a certificate of election I From 19 and obtain from the candidate an acknowledgement of its received duly signed by him and immediately send the acknowledgement to the Election Commissioner.
Election to more than one seat. –
If a person is elected to more than one seat then unless within three days form the date of publication of result of election under section 14, he resigns all but one of the seats by writing under his hand addressed to Election Commissioner, all the seats shall become vacant.
Custody of ballot boxes Voting Machines and papers relating to election :-
All the ballot boxes and Voting Machines used at an election shall be kept I such custody as the Election Commissions may direct. The Returning Officer shall keep in safe custody, subject to any general or special direction of the Election Commissioner, the packets of unused ballot papers relating to the election. 77-A. A production and Inspection of election papers :–
While in the custody of the Returning Officer:-
the packets of unused ballot papers
the packets of used ballot papers whether valid tendered or rejected
the packets of the marked copy of the electoral rolls;
the packets of the declarations by electors and the attestation of their signature; shall.
The voting machines Viz. Control units and bolting units both as used at the polling station in a ward; and
The register of voters in Form 11A in respect of all polling stations in a ward where voting machines have been used. Shall not be opened and their contents shall not be inspected by, or produced before, any person or authority except under order of a competent court.
All other papers relating to the election shall be open to public inspection subject to such conditions and to the payment of such fee, if any, as the Election Commissioner may direct.
Copies of the returns prepared at an election by the Returning Officer under rule 74 shall be furnished to any person by the Returning Officer on payment of a fee of Five Rupees for each such copy. The fee so prescribed shall be paid by means of court –fee stamps.
Disposal of election papers etc.:- Subject to any direction to the contrary given by a competent court, the packets and other papers and all data, results and other information recoded and stored in the memory of the voting machines referred to in rule 77A shall be retained for a period of six months form the date of publications of the result of election under section 14 and shall thereafter be destroyed or erased, as the case may be: Provided that if an election petition if filled in the court of the District Judge of Delhi, the packets, other papers and all data information stored in the voting machines referred to in this rule shall not be destroyed or erased, as the case may be, until the petition is finally disposed of.