People entitled to holiday on voting day, poll panel tells states

People entitled to holiday on voting day, poll panel tells states
New Delhi: People employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote in poll-bound states were entitled to paid holiday on the day of election, the Election Commission (EC) has said.

"I am directed to invite your attention to Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which provides for the grant of paid holiday to the employees on the day of poll," said an EC missive to chief secretaries of poll-bound states.

The communication, sent Sunday, was released to the media, Monday.

The EC said the provisions require that all establishments and shops, including those which work on shift basis, shall be closed on the day of poll in the constituency where an election is to be held.

"However, there may be cases where a person is ordinarily resident of the constituency and registered as an elector, may be serving/employed in an industrial undertaking or an establishment located outside the constituency having a general/bye-election.

"It is clarified that in such a situation, even those electors, including casual workers working outside the constituency concerned, would be entitled to the benefit of a paid holiday extended under Section 135B(1) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951," the EC said.

It added the daily wage or casual workers were also entitled for a holiday and wages on poll day as provided in Section 135B of the Act.

"The commission desired that suitable instructions should be issued to all concerned and a copy thereof be endorsed to the commission for its information and record," it said.

According to Section 135B, every person employed in any business trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote in the Lok Sabha or assembly polls be granted a holiday.

The rules state the section will not apply to any elector whose absence may cause danger or substantial loss in respect of employment in which he is engaged.

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