GUWAHATI, March 25 � The State Election Department today drew the attention of the Deputy Commissioners of the districts and the Sub-divisional Officers (Civil) to the Election Commission of India directive on physical screening of the baggage coming out of the helicopters and aircraft in the election expenditure monitoring compendium.
An official press release said that the EC has stated in the said directive that at the remote or uncontrolled airports or helipads, the flying squad or police authorities of the States, Union Territories in coordination with the pilot of the aircraft shall carry out the screening or physical checking of all baggages coming out of the craft, excepting the hand-held purse or pouch by any passenger.
The EC directive has stated that any unauthorized arms, contraband goods, cash exceeding Rs 50,000 belonging to any candidate or agent or party functionary shall be investigated and considered for seizure as per order of the Supreme Court in the EC vs Bhagyoday Janparishad & others (WP No.231/2012, dated 09.11.2012).
However, it is clarified that frisking of body of any passenger shall not be done at the time of disembarkation at such remote or uncontrolled airports or helipads, unless there is specific information about unauthorized arms or contraband goods etc being carried by the person.
At the remote or uncontrolled airports and helipads, application will have to be made either by the candidate or by the political party to the District Election Officer (DEO) concerned, at least 24 hours before landing, mentioning the details of travel plan, place of landing in the district and names of passenger in the aircraft or helicopters so that the DEO can make adequate arrangements for security, law and order issues and also to make available the coordinates of the helipad. On receipt of such an application, the DEO shall issue permission on the same day on priority basis.