State Election Commission
According to sub-section (1) of Section 10 of the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, as extended to the Union Territory, Chandigarh by the Punjab Municipal Corporation Law (Extension to Chandigarh) Act, 1994 (Act No. 45 of 1994), the Superintendence, direction and control of preparation of the electoral rolls for and the conduct of all elections to the Corporation shall be vested in the Election Commission appointed under Section 7 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, and the Election Commission so appointed under that Section shall be responsible for the functions conferred on the Election Commission under this sub-section.
Accordingly, functioning of the State Election Commission, National Capital Territory of Delhi & U.T., Chandigarh was started in U.T., Chandigarh with the appointment of Shri S.D.Lahkar, IAS (Retd.) as Election Commissioner, notified by the Chandigarh Administration vide its Notification bearing No. 4575-UT FII(10)-94/12673 dated 24.09.1994. The expenditure on this Commission is shared by the Govt. of NCT of Delhi & U.T., Chandigarh on the basis of their population ratio. Accommodation for the Chandigarh office of the Commission has been allotted by the Chandigarh Administration in New Deluxe Building, Sector 17-E, Chandigarh. The entire expenditure for the holding of elections of local bodies in U.T., Chandigarh is born out by the Chandigarh Administration. The Head Office of the Commission is located in Nigam Bhawan, Kashmere Gate, Delhi-110006
The nature of election work is regular in the sense though the term of the each House of the Corporation is 5 years, yet due to different dates of various elections in U.T., Chandigarh, the Commission is always busy in holding elections and bye-elections as a result of death/resignation of a member or on expiry of the term of a House. The post election work includes election petitions, litigations in courts, maintenance and upkeep of valuable election records, settlement of account of election expenses, disposal of election records, return of Electronic Voting Machines which are taken on loan from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, U.T., Chandigarh, after expiry of the prescribed period, keeping the electoral rolls up-to-date for use at an election within a given time etc. etc. To cope with the above items of work, which are of time bound nature, the Commission has to engage staff on contract basis in the absence of sanctioned posts.
For the purpose of preparation of electoral rolls and for conduct of elections to the various bodies, the State Election Commissioner appoints the following officers belonging to the Govt. of U.T., Chandigarh in consultation with the Chandigarh Administration:-
- Electoral Registration Officers
- Assistant Electoral Registration Officers
- Returning Officers
- Assistant Returning Officers
- Election Observers
- Election Expenditure Observers
- Presiding and Polling Officers
- Counting staff
- Staff at Collection Centres to receive polled ballot boxes and election documents after the close of poll
- Sector Officers for a group of polling stations to supervise the poll
- Micro Observers
A large number of Police Officers/Police personnel are also deputed
At the time of any election in U.T., Chandigarh, the State Election Commissioner with his Senior Officers and supportive staff shifts temporarily to Chandigarh and remains there till completion of elections.