NEW DELHI: In the last 15 days, police registered more than 20 FIRs under the Delhi Defacement of Property Act against the DUSU candidates, fielded by the student groups — ABVP and NSUI — for putting posters in unauthorised places.
Police said they took suo-moto cognisance against those as well, who sought candidature and put across posters with their names before the announcement of the list of candidates list by the university.
“We have a round-the-clock deployment to ensure there are no violations. We have been screening all the vehicles to check if they are carrying any objectionable items.
We had interacted with the candidates and made it clear that we would be ruthless in case of any violation. Last year, there were cars with cricket bats and hockey sticks. Nothing of that sort this year,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harendra Singh.
Hoardings displaying the candidates’ names were also put up but Singh said since anybody can pay and advertise on hoardings there would not be any action against them.
However, the names of candidates on hoardings violated the Lyngdoh Committee rule on the budget, said Delhi University Students’ Union Chief Election Officer Ashok Prasad. “I can see posters on hoardings in Kamla Nagar and parts of north campus. Police have filed cases against that.”
On the distribution of chocolates and crossing the upper limit of the budget, the CEO said that no complaints have been received so far. However, if something comes into their notice, the grievance committee will take appropriate action.
In 2018, the Supreme Court passed the in a writ petition filed by advocate Prashant Manchanda against defacement of public and private property during DUSU elections.
According to police and Manchanda, the number of violations has gone down in the last few years. However, more FIRs were lodged this year due to “strict enforcement”, said DCP Monika Bhardwaj. Last year, police filed less than 15 FIRs.“There was use of spray paints which are incorrigible and cannot be resurrected. They were being used on metro station walls and elsewhere. In May 2018, we formed deterrent guidelines. The situation is better this year,” Manchanda said.
Fair practice guidelines
The Lyngdoh Committee guidelines for fair election practices, issued in 2006 and backed by the Supreme Court, stipulate that the university election budget for a student group must be no more than Rs 5,000.