Amid complaints of state governments not extending ex-gratia payment to central forces personnel maimed or killed in violence during elections, the EC today said the payments will be made to them as well as Home Guards and private drivers and cleaners hired for poll duties.\
"It has been brought to the notice of the Commission that some of the states are not extending the payment of ex-gratia to personnel of CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces). In this connection, the MHA has also requested the Commission that the compensation amount as per the Commission's order should include all the CAPFs/SAPs (State Armed Police) and other security force personnel deployed for election duty," the Election Commission said in its order.
It said the ex-gratia compensation will be applicable to "all security personnel including CPAF, SAP, state police, Home Guards, any private persons like drivers, cleaners hired for election duty." It said election duty starts as soon as the person leaves his house or office to report for election duty, including training.
Last month, the Election Commission had directed all state governments to provide an ex-gratia payment of a minimum of Rs 10 lakh to the next of kin of poll officials who die in the line of duty and Rs 20 lakh if the death is caused by violence. The amount will be Rs 20 lakh if the poll official is killed in a violent incident such as ambush, landmine blast or bomb blast, EC said in its directive to Chief Secretaries and Chief Electoral Officers. In case any official deployed for election duty suffers permanent disability, including severing of limb or loss of eyesight, he or she will be provided with a minimum ex-gratia of Rs five lakh. If the disability is a result of terror strike or violent incident, the minimum amount would be Rs 10 lakh. The EC revised the slabs of ex-gratia payment following demands in this regard.
Often, harsh weather and terrorist incidents take a toll on poll officials.