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SRINAGAR: The Government today said that the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that came into force with the announcement of the schedule for elections to Local Bodies will continue till completion of the Panchayat Elections-2018, for which schedule has already been issued by the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K. In view of the enforcement of MCC, the General Administration Department (GAD) today issued set of circular instructions for compliance by all the Administrative Secretaries, Heads of Departments, District Development Commissioners and District Superintendents of Police.

According to these instructions, there shall be ban on the transfer of officers/employees who are connected with the conduct of Panchayat Elections - 2018 till the completion of the electoral process. “However, in cases where the transfer of an officer/ official is considered absolutely necessary in public interest, the concerned Administrative Secretary may approach the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K with full justification and obtain prior clearance before issuance of any such order,” the circular said.

It said all officers/ officials involved in the conduct of Panchayat Elections including Designated Police Officers shall be under the administrative control of the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K for superintendence and discipline. “Further, all the District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) and District Superintendents of Police are enjoined upon to strictly adhere to the instructions issued by the Chief Electoral Officer, J&K from time to time in order to ensure free and fair elections,” it said.