The Election Commission of India (ECI) has operationalized the cVigil app wherein the general public can report any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in the Munugode by-election.
cVigil is available on both AppStore and PlayStore.
Munugode by-election will be held on November 3 and the results will be declared on November 6.
Twenty-one FIRs have been registered for different violations so far. Police have seized Rs. 2.95 crore in cash. Excise Department has booked 123 cases and arrested 55 people.
Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections. It is primarily related to speeches, polling day, polling booths, election manifestos, processions, and general conduct.
An official from the Nalgonda District Collector's office told NewsMeter that permission is required to conduct political events. "If no permission is granted then cases can be registered," he said.
The app will only be available within the geographical boundaries of the states where elections are taking place. Anyone and everyone who lives within the geographical boundaries of the state where the elections have been declared is eligible to file a complaint through the app. This includes election candidates as well as members of political parties.
Once logged in, you can register your complaint anonymously (or identify yourself). The app will attempt to record the most precise location and will immediately forward the complaint to the ECI and the District Electoral Officer.
A citizen can take a photograph or record a 2-minute video. The photo or video can be uploaded on the app and the Geographic Information Systems automated location mapping. Audio can also be recorded and transmitted.
According to the app, 8 cases have been registered in the Nalgonda district in the last 30 days.
"When a citizen reports a complaint, the information is routed to the District Control Room, where it is assigned to a Field Unit," the official from District Collector's office told NewsMeter.
A field unit is made up of Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Reserve Teams, and so on. Each Field Unit will have a GIS-based mobile application called 'cVIGIL Investigator,' which will allow the field unit to directly reach the location and take action by following GIS cues and navigation technology.
"The Field Unit will be given one hour to arrive at the location and verify the complaint. Based on the investigation, necessary action will be taken," the official told NewsMeter.
After taking a picture or recording a video, the cVIGIL user will have 5 minutes to report the incident. The app does not allow users to upload pre-recorded images/videos or save photos/videos clicked from this app directly into the phone gallery.
Returning Officer makes the final decision on all complaints. The returning officer for the Munugode by-election is Nalgonda District Collector T Vinay Krishna Reddy.
The following are the likely MCC infractions: Money Distribution, Gift/Coupon Distribution, Liquor Distribution, Posters/Banners Without Permission, Display of Firearms, Intimidation, Vehicles or Convoys Without Permission, Paid News, Property Defacement, Transportation of Voters on Election Day, Campaigning Within 200 Meters of the Polling Booth, Campaigning During the Ban Period, Religious or Communal Speeches/Messages, Use of Speakers