ELECTION PROCEDURE UNDER ARTICLES 7 (VI) & 15 (I) OF THE RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. All elections will be held by secret postal ballot, unless there is some emergency in which case the National Council will lay down such ad-hoc procedures as it may deem necessary. The indicative time table for chapters and National Elections as given in Exhibits VI and VII shall be followed.
2. The elections for office bearers of the National Council shall be held after the elections for Managing Committees of local chapters and members of the National Council have been completed. In case, however, the elections of Managing Committee and Members of the National Council from any chapter are not held by the due date, the elections for National Council Office bearers can be proceeded with by sending the nomination forms/ballot papers to newly elected National Council in only those chapters where elections have been held and results received by the National Office by the date when the nomination forms/ballot papers are to be sent.
3. In the last week of January preceding the year for which elections are to be held, the Managing Committees will appoint one eminent person but not from among the members of the Society, as Returning Officer for conducting the elections to the Managing Committee and such members of the National Council as are to be elected that year. The National Office shall be kept informed of this as well as all subsequent steps to be taken for the election. Chapters will provide lists of members to those who request for the same.
4. On the first working day of March every year, the Secretaries/Hony. Secretaries of the Chapters shall write to all the members of their chapters whose names appear in the membership register on Ist of March preceding the year for nominations giving two week’s time from the date of issue of the notice for the submission of nominations to the Returning Officer directly. A copy of this notice shall be sent to the Returning Officer. The date, time and place for receipt of nominations and scrutiny by the Returning Officer will be indicated and persons nominated or their authorized representatives will be allowed to be present.
5. The Returning Officer will scrutinize the nominations received and send within 2 working days time the complete list of nominations accepted for all posts to each member whose nomination has been accepted for any position in the Managing Committee and /or as member of the National Council giving one week’s time for withdrawal of names, if any The withdrawal shall be sent directly to the Returning Officer who shall then prepare the final list of nominations after excluding the names withdrawn.
6. A Ballot Paper as shown in Exhibit II (including the names of the candidates elected unopposed) shall be prepared and mailed directly by the Returning Officer within 2 working days time to all members of the respective chapters who have their voting rights with two envelopes –one large and one small both having the address of the Returning Officer to whom the completed ballot paper should be sent. While sending the ballot paper, the Returning Officer will give 2 weeks time from the date of issue and indicate the place/address, date and time ( i ) till when the ballots will be received by him and (ii) for opening of the ballots.
WHILE CASTING THE VOTES BY MAIL:
(a) The ballot paper has to be completed as per the instructions given in it (contained on the ballot paper itself). The vote can be cast for any number of positions, subject to the maximum number indicated for each post on the ballot paper. In case of any alteration or over writing the ballot paper shall be rejected.
(b) After completion , the ballot paper should be kept in the small envelope bearing the address of the Returning Officer sent by the Returning Officer for the purpose and properly sealed so that no tampering can take place.
(c) Then the sealed small envelope containing the completed ballot paper along with the covering letter (Exhibit V) signed by the member should be placed in a separate giving the address of the Returning Officer big envelope ( also supplied by the Returning Officer) and pasted well to avoid any tempering. The sealed portion can be attested by member’s signature. In no case, the signed covering letter will be kept with the ballot paper in small envelope. Otherwise the ballot paper shall be rejected.
(d) The sealed self-addressed stamped envelopes containing the ballot paper and signed covering letter should be sent by members to the Returning Officer only, so as to reach the Returning Officer on or before the date and time fixed for their receipt.
(e) The sealed envelope containing the ballot paper shall not be accepted by the Returning Officer after the time specified for the receipt of ballots.
(f) All the big envelopes containing the covering letter and sealed ballot papers received by mail or otherwise will be kept in the safe custody of the Returning Officer and opened only at the place, date and time previously fixed by the Returning Officer where the contesting candidates or their authorized representatives will be allowed to be present.
7. The election results shall be completed by the Returning Officer before the end of April and communicated simultaneously to the Secretary and Chairman of the Chapter and Administrative Head of the National Headquarters of the Society.
OFFICE BEARERS OF NATIONAL COUNCIL
8. The action for elections of the office bearers of the National Council, namely, President, Vice-President (National), 4 Vice-Presidents for the 4 regions, Hony. General Secretary (if there is no appointed Administrative Head of the National Headquarters) and Hony. Treasurer shall be initiated before May. The existing National Council shall appoint before the end of April an eminent person who is not a member of the Society as Returning Officer to conduct and supervise the elections. The Administrative Head of National Office shall write in the first week of May to all such members of the National Council as have the voting rights, to send their nominations in the form I at Exhibit III. The nominations shall be from among the list of members of the National Council only which would be sent along with the above circulars. A copy of these communications from the National Office shall be sent to the Returning Officer. The nominations are to be sent direct to the Returning Officer within 2 weeks of the date of issue of the notice. The date, time and place for receipt of nominations and scrutiny by the Returning Officer will be indicated in these circulars and the persons nominated or their authorized representatives will be allowed to be present.
9. The nominations will be scrutinized by the Returning Officer and the complete list of nominations accepted for all posts will be sent by him/her within 2 working days to all those members whose nominations have been accepted for various positions. About one week’s time may be allowed for withdrawals which are to be sent directly to Returning Officer who will immediately after the stipulated date and time prepare the final list of nominations, excluding the names withdrawn.
(a) The consent of the candidate contesting the elections shall include a declaration that he has paid the membership subscription for the year for which the elections are held. Accordingly, the consent will include the following additional sentence :
“I hereby confirm that I have paid the membership subscription for the current year/ I am a Life Member.”
Any false statement will disqualify the candidate at the time of counting of votes or any other time it is found that it was a wrong statement.
10. A Ballot Paper as shown in Exhibit IV (including the names of candidates elected unopposed) shall be prepared and mailed by the Returning Officer within 2 working days of last date of withdrawal to all such members of the National Council as have the voting rights, with a cover having the address of Returning Officer/Committee to whom the completes Ballot Paper is to be sent. 2 week’s time will be allowed from the date of issue, for submission of Ballot Papers and steps (a) to (f) listed in Rules 6 will be followed.
11. The election results should be completed by the Returning Officer/Committee before 30th June and communicated simultaneously to the Administrative Head of the Office and President of the Society.
12. No nomination shall be made for any position unless the consent of the person being nominated has been obtained.
13. The Ballot Paper has to be completed only for the position(s) in the Managing Committee/National Council which are being contested. The members should not cast more number of votes than required for various positions in the Managing Committee/National Council that are being contested , as specified in the ballot paper against that position. If the votes cast against any position are more than what is stipulated for that position, then all the votes so cast for that position only will be held as invalid votes.
14. The decision of the Returning Officer shall be final and the Managing Committee/National Council/General Body shall have no power to review/revise or amend it.
15. The dates mentioned in these rules and summarised in Exhibit VI are to be adhered to unless in exceptional circumstances in which case all members shall be informed of the change in dates and a meeting of the General Body of the Chapter/Society called within one month to ratify the decision changing the dates or postponing the elections.
16. If the Secretary of Chapter and Administrative Head of the National Headquarters/Hony. General Secretary of the National Council fail to take action as provided herein, the respective Chairmen/Presidents shall take charge for holding elections and shall follow the procedure laid herein.
17. A member of the Society/National Council can nominate himself and /or any number of other members for Managing Committee for Chapter/National Council elections. But the consent of the persons nominated for Managing Committee/National Council elections must accompany the nomination form or be otherwise submitted to Returning Officer. In the absence of this consent from any person nominated, his nomination will become invalid. However, no such consent shall be necessary for self nomination.
18. Returning Officer should authenticate by signing, initiating or otherwise all the Papers before issuing them.
19. In case of a tie(i.e. same number of votes) for any position the following procedure will be adopted :-
(a) When the ballots are first opened and tie situation becomes known, the Returning Officer will immediately inform by express telegram by telex, fax or delivery by hand, the candidate having the tie, the date and time of draw of lots. This will not be earlier than 48 hours and later than 72 hours of dispatch, the candidates or their representatives will be permitted to attend the draw of lots.
(b) The Returning Officer will give opportunity to the candidates having the tie, to withdraw even at this stage so that only one candidate is finally left, who can be declared elected. Withdrawal by letter/telex/fax/telegram can be accepted till the time announced for draw of lots.
(c) Failing any withdrawal as per (b) above, the Returning Officer will decide the matter by draw of lots among the candidates having the tie.
20. The National Council/Chapter will reimburse all expenses incurred by the Returning Officer in conducting the elections but no honorarium will be paid for the same.