Vinod ZutshiConsultants & Advisors

ELECTION TODAY

Election Today is an “Organization of Election Experts” led by Vinod Zutshi, Former Dy. Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India, who served Election Commission of India as Dy. Election Commissioner for 6 years (2009 to 2015) and conducted almost all elections under the purview of Election Commission of India during this period. Election Today is part of Vinod Zutshi, Consultants & Advisors, a registered firm with its registered office in New Delhi.

 

OBJECTS OF ELECTION TODAY

Election Today is a platform for offering Consultancy, Advisory, HRD, Training, Strategic, Legal services & IT Solutions with regard to all Election matters (Pre-election to Post-election period) to the following:

 

  1. Political Parties of India (National and State Political Parties),

  2. Candidates (including independent candidates, contesting candidates and those intending to contest) for Elections to Legislative Assemblies of States; Lok Sabha; Rajya Sabha; and Legislative Councils, and

  3. Groups and Associations dealing with subject of Elections & Democratic Governance

 

AREAS OF SERVICES AT A GLANCE

Election Today will broadly offer the following services and solutions:

 

  • Registration of political parties.

  • Counselling on all Election Matters (Pre-election to Post-election period) to political parties, candidates & any other person requiring counselling.

  • Organizing sensitization workshops and training sessions for office bearers, members of political parties, candidates, for master trainers of political parties and election agents of candidate regarding relevant subjects of election.

  • Filing of nomination papers and advising on nomination process.

  • Election Campaign – issues and strategies.

  • Model code violation, Election offences & corrupt practices.

  • Issues related to Electronic Voting Machines including VVPAT.

  • Pre-poll, Poll and Post-poll process and issues.

  • Filing of Election Petitions including legal services.

  • Filing of Election Expenditures, during and after the election process.

  • IT solutions including Digital publicity, communications and digital campaigns (web based and smart phone based).

 

WHY “ELECTION TODAY”?

             Elections in India include elections for the Parliament comprising Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, the Legislative Assemblies, Legislative Councils and Local Bodies. According to Constitution of India, Elections for the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies should take place every 5 years. Any vacancy caused by death or resignation must be filled through an election within six months of the occurrence of such vacancies. Elections to one third of the seats of the upper house of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha are conducted from time to time. Thus, in India, Elections keep happening round the year.

All the election at the Central and State level are conducted by the Election Commission of India, while local bodies elections are conducted by State Election Commissions.  The Election Commission of India is an autonomous Constitutional body. It is a Constitutional authority responsible for administering all the electoral processes of India and ensuring that they are free and fair.

 

Elections are conducted in India according to Constitutional provisions, Statutory Acts and Laws and according to various laws of the land. These include:

  • Representation of the People Act, 1950

  • Representation of the People Act, 1950

  • The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961

  • The Registration of Electors Rules, 1960

  • Indian Penal Code

  • Election symbols (reservation & allotment) Order 1968

  • Judicial decisions of Supreme Court & High Courts

 

The Supreme Court of India has held that where the enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provision to deal with a given situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner. Election Commission issues instructions from time to time with regard to maintenance of Electoral Rolls, Electoral Process and Electoral Management. Over past 68 years, Election Commission of India has issued a large number of instructions which are binding on all stakeholders. Elections in India is therefore an elaborate process with statutory election laws, election rules and instructions of Election Commission of India.

The advent of Electronic Voting Machines has brought about series of new laws, instructions and procedures. The incoming of VVPAT machines has further added new set of instructions and procedures in the election system. The recent Supreme Court judgements with regard to NOTA, filing of affidavits by candidates, new instruction on “freebies” and new directions for filing of nomination papers have made the election system more elaborate.

 

In India elections are contested by political parties. Presently there are 7 national recognized parties and 49 recognized state parties. There are also many unrecognized political parties. It is noteworthy that majority of statutory laws, rules and instructions of Election Commission are meant for compliance by political parties and the candidates including independent candidates. However, it has been observed that most of the time the political parties and their office bearers at National, State or District level are not well versed and familiar with all the relevant laws, rules and instructions governing election system in India. The candidates, both before and after their candidature is decided, are many times not aware of latest laws, rules and ECI instructions. The fall out of such ignorance is that bonafide errors are committed by political parties and candidates during election process due to which they not only suffer losses in the electoral battle but are also penalised by Election Commission of India or Competent Courts.  A comment or reprimand from ECI or any Court, on such errors, tarnish the image of political parties & candidates before voters.

During long tenure in Election Commission of India, team Election Today has observed that while there is well laid system for training and capacity building of the officials of State election machinery at all levels before and during the election process, there is no organization or platform available to political parties and candidates for capacity building, training and updating them with latest laws, rules and instructions governing elections in India. Although, Election Commission of India does release and publish the laws, rules and instructions on their websites or sometimes for political parties and candidates however, there is no existing mechanism to update the knowledge of laws, rules and instructions of political parties and candidates.

Election Today is an establishment offering this mechanism and a platform in non Government and non political area. Election Today would act as a knowledge partner of political parties and candidates. Election Today would also be available to provide them “actual services” in certain areas of election process like filing of nomination papers, filing of election expenditures, dealing with violation of Model Code of Conduct, Election Offences and filing of election petitions. Election Today has been conceived to fill the void which exists today in providing regular knowledge and information about election process. Election Today will provide Counselling, Consultancy and Advisory Services for almost all aspects of election process to political parties and candidates.

 

TEAM “ELECTION TODAY”

 Election Today team is led by Vinod Zutshi, Former Dy. Election Commissioner who superannuated from the post of Secretary to Government of India. Vinod Zutshi has hands-on experience of conducting a large number of elections including:

 

  • General Election of Lok Sabha 2014

  • State Legislative Assemblies of Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Tripura, Mizoram, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sikkim and NCT of Delhi.

  • Elections of Members to Rajya Sabha.

  • Elections of Members to Legislative Councils of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

  • Election to the President of India and

  • Election to Vice President of India.

Zutshi also conducted Legislative Assemblies Elections of Rajasthan in 2008 and Lok Sabha Elections in Rajasthan 2009 in the capacity of Chief Electoral Officer of Rajasthan.

Zutshi achieved recognitions in the field of Elections and Democratic Governance. During his tenure, he was:

  • Deputed as Election expert to Election Commission of Jordan for Jordanian Elections in 2013

  • Appointed as the Secretary “Association of Asian Election Authorities” (AAEA)

  • Chairperson of Committee appointed for “NRI Voting” as per the direction of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.

 

Zutshi represented Election Commission of India at:

  • Signing of MoU with Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan at Bishkek.

  • Commonwealth Election Management Bodies’ Conference at Ghana, Africa.

  • At Thailand, Nepal and Bangladesh as International Election Observer.

  • Election Conference at Georgia.

  • Election workshop at Kingston, Jamaica.

  • At France and UAE to study NRI voting in elections.

 

Vinod Zutshi is also an Advocate, enrolled at Bar Council of Delhi after having done LLB from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

Election Today has in its team, Shri S.K. Mendiratta an eminent professional in elections laws and election process, who served Election Commission of India for more than 40 years including 15 years as Legal Advisor in the Commission. Shri Mendiratta is also an Advocate and expert in Election Laws.

Other prominent members of Election Today Team are:

  • Shri Harbans Singh, Former Secretary, Election Commission of India

  • Shri Ashish Chakravarty, Former Secretary, Election Commission of India

  • Shri P.C. Gupta, Former Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan

  • Shri R.K. Pareek, Former Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan

  • Raj Chopra, IT Solution Expert

Election Today has identified a large number of other Election experts including former Collectors, former Police officers and former officers of Election Commission of India to assist in its operations & services.

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES & SOLUTIONS OF “ELECTION TODAY”:

Election Today will offer following Services & Solutions:

  • Election Law/ Rules/instructions including judgements of Hon’ble Supreme Court.

  • Registration of Political Parties.

  • Electoral Rolls related matters including Inclusion, Correction & Deletion in Voter List.

  • Analysis of Electoral Rolls namely E.P. Ratio, Gender Ratio etc.

  • Process for filing of Nomination by Candidates including filing of Affidavits.

  • Scrutiny and Withdrawal of candidature and allotment of symbols.

  • Model Code of Conduct issues and Do’s & Don’ts to prevent Model Code Violations.

  • Election offences & corrupt practices

  • Guidance to Political Parties and Candidates on Election Campaign.

  • Rights & Responsibilities of candidates during Polling, counting, re-totalling and re-counting process.

  • Issues related to working of Electronic Voting Machines including rights & responsibilities of Political Parties and Candidates.

  • Election Expenditure and Laws/Instructions related to election expenditures including filing of expenditure statements during and after election process.

  • Process of appeals against disqualifications for non-submission of expenditure.

  • Election Petitions and filing of petitions.

  • Training Modules for Election agents, polling agents and counting agents of Political parties and candidates.

  • Research and analysis of:

  • Voter turnout

  • Voting trend

  • Voters behaviour during poling

 

METHODOLOGY OF OFFERING SERVICES BY “ELECTION TODAY”

 Organizing sensitization workshops and seminars for national and senior office bearers and members of political parties

  • Half day workshop/Seminar

  • One day – Day Workshop/Seminar

  • Two days Residential Workshop/Seminar

 

The workshops/seminars will broadly cover all issues related to elections with special focus on:-

  • New elections laws, rules, ECI instructions and Supreme Court Judgements

  • Enrolment of missing voters in the constituencies

  • Filing of nomination papers, affidavits, symbol allotment and withdrawal process

  • Violation of model code of conducts

  • Do’s and don’ts during the election campaigning

  • Understanding the working of electronic voting machine and the VVPAT

  • Rights and responsibilities of candidates during polling, counting, re-totalling and recounting.

  • Laws and instructions governing election expenditure on the process of filing election expenditures during the after election process

  • Analysis of voting trends and voters behaviour in past elections

  • Filing of Election Petitions.

  • Organizing sensitization workshops and seminars for office bearers and members of political parties at State and District level

 

  • Half day workshop/Seminar

  • One day – Day Workshop/Seminar

  • Two days Residential Workshop/Seminar

 

The workshops/seminars will broadly cover all issues related to elections with special focus on:-

  • New elections laws, rules, ECI instructions and Supreme Court Judgements

  • Analysis of Electoral Rolls and strategies for inclusion, correction and deletion in voter lists during revision of electoral rolls and before the announcement of elections

  • Filing of nomination papers, affidavits, symbol allotment and withdrawal process

  • Violation of model code of conducts

  • Do’s and don’ts during the election campaigning

  • Understanding the working of electronic voting machine and the VVPAT

  • Rights and responsibilities of candidates during polling, counting, re-totalling and recounting.

  • Laws and instructions governing election expenditure on the process of filing election expenditures during the after election process

  • Analysis of voting trends and voters behaviour in past elections

Organizing sensitization workshops and seminars for candidates of political parties and independent candidates. The candidates will include both, the persons who intend to contest elections even before their name appears in list of contesting candidates and those who are finally contesting the elections:

  • Half day workshop/Seminar

  • One day – Day Workshop/Seminar

 

The workshops/seminars will broadly cover all issues related to elections with special focus on:-

  • Election Law/ Rules/instructions

  • Electoral Rolls

  • Inclusion, Correction & Deletion in Voter List

  • Nomination Process till list of contesting candidates

  • Model Code of Conduct

  • Rights & Responsibilities of Candidates

  • Do’s & Don’ts to prevent Model Code Violations

  • Guidance to Candidates on Election Campaign as per election laws

  • Rights & Responsibilities of candidates during Polling, counting, re-totalling and re-counting.

  • Issues related to working of Electronic Voting Machines including rights & responsibilities of Candidates

  • Laws/Instructions related to election expenditures

  • Process of filing expenditure statements during and after election process

  • Disqualifications for non-submission of expenditure

  • Election Petitions

  • Research and analysis of Voter turnout, Voting trend

  • Voter behaviour during last election

 

Organizing Training workshops and seminars for Master Trainers of political parties

  • Half day workshop/Seminar

  • One day – Day Workshop/Seminar

 

The workshops/seminars will broadly cover all issues related to elections with special focus on:-

  • Election Law/Rules/instructions

  • Inclusion, Correction & Deletion in voter list

  • Model Code of Conduct

  • Rights & Responsibilities of Political Parties and Candidates

  • Issues related to working of Electronic Voting Machines including rights & responsibilities of political parties and candidates

  • Process of filing expenditure statements during and after election process

  • Disqualification for non-submission of expenditure

  • Training Modules for Election agents, polling agents and counting agents of political parties and candidates

 

MODES OF PROVIDING SERVICES & SOLUTIONS

 Group Counselling:

             Most of the services offered to political parties and candidates shall be in the form of workshops/seminar/training programmes as indicated before. These workshops/seminars/training programmes can be organized in New Delhi as well as all important towns of India. The location of the programmes can be enlarged depending upon the need and preference of political parties. There is no prescribed limit (neither minimum nor maximum) for number of persons in the aforesaid workshop/seminar/training programme for political parties and candidates. Election Today will be flexible about the number of persons to be enrolled for these programmes.

Election Today can also organize group counselling using information and digital technology in the form of

  • Video Conferencing

  • Tele Conferencing

 

Election Today can also counsel political parties and candidates separately by any of the above methods including through Emails and Telephone.

Individual Counselling:

            In addition to group seminars/workshops/training programmes, Election Today will also offer counselling, consultancy, advisory and hand holding services to individual candidates or any person of the political party also.

  

COST OF SERVICES & SOLUTIONS

             Election Today will charge fee for all kinds of election counselling indicated above. For group counselling, the fees shall vary depending upon the size of the group, the package of service and the content of the services offered. For charges related to conducting workshops/seminars/training programmes, Election Today will quote a composite rate that will include charges for workshop/seminar/training premise, food and beverages and counselling services. In case of residential workshops, boarding and lodging charges will be added to the composite rate.

       For counselling on individual basis to candidates or any other person or to the political parties, the counselling fee will be decided on case to case basis, depending on the nature of service required, time period and mode of communication. In case of personal counselling, the counselling will primarily be done at New Delhi either at the registered office of Election Today or any other place mutually convenient.

 

HOW TO CONTACT

 Those interested in taking the aforesaid range of services of Election Today may contact

VINOD ZUTSHI

             IAS (Retd)

FORMER DEPUTY COMMISSIONER

ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA

&

FORMER SECRETARY, TOURISM

GOVT. OF INDIA

 

CONTACT DETAILS

Email             : vinodzutshi@gmail.com

Telephone    : 011-40158773

Mobiles        : +919971070880

                        +919829068995

 

Office Address : C-31, Ground Floor, Panchsheel Enclave

                             New Delhi-110017

Website        : www.vinodzutshi.com/electiontoday

LinkedIn        : linkedin.com/vinodzutshi

Twitter          : @vinodzutshi

Facebook      : Vinod Zutshi ias Retd

 

                   Proprietary Firms of      : VINOD ZUTSHI CONSULTANTS AND ADVISORS

                                 Vinod Zutshi

                                                            : VINOD ZUTSHI LAW ASSOCIATES

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Other Consultancy and Advisory Services in Elections & Democratic Governance

We have the experience & practical knowledge of planning and conducting Parliamentary & Legislative Assembly & Legislative Council Elections in India. We have dealt with the Election Laws; Process & Procedures while conducting elections.

Our Consultancy & Advisory in the field of Elections could cater to:

  • Governments (Indian & other Countries).
  • Election Commission of India & Election Management Bodies of various countries.
  • State Election Commission in India.
  • State Election Departments in India.
  • National & State recognised political parties in India & other Countries.
  • Institutions of Higher education including Law Universities and Institutions.

 Governments:

  • Suggest Electoral Reforms.
  • Advise on review of Election Laws (Acts & Rules) in pursuit of Electoral Reforms.
  • Suggest Innovations in Election Process, including use of Technology.
  • Sharing of Good Practices & Experiences of various countries.

Election Management Bodies including Election Commission of India, State Election Commissions & State Election Departments in India:

  • Suggest Electoral Reforms.
  • Advise on review of Election Laws (Acts & Rules) in pursuit of Electoral Reforms.
  • Suggest Innovations in Election Process, including use of Technology.
  • Sharing of Good Practices & Experiences of various countries.
  • As Resource Person, for capacity building of Election related machinery.
  • Consultancy & Advisory Services on
  • Election Planning
  • Electoral Roll Management
  • Electoral Process
  • Guidance to Political parties on Election related issues
  • Voter Awareness
  • Research, Analysis, Evaluation and Studies on various issues related to elections

Political Parties

We offer Consultancy & Advisory Services for:

  • Election Law/ Rules/instructions
  • Electoral Rolls
  • Inclusion, Correction & Deletion in Voter List
  • Analysis of Electoral Rolls namely E.P. Ratio, Gender Ratio etc.
  • Process for Nomination of Candidates
  • Qualification/Disqualifications
  • Filing of Nomination Forms
  • Filing of Affidavits
  • Scrutiny and Withdrawal of candidature
  • Allotment of symbols
  • Model Code of Conduct
  • Rights & Responsibilities of Political Parties and Candidates
  • Do’s & Don’ts to prevent Model Code Violations
  • Guidance to Political Parties and Candidates on Election Campaign as per election laws
  • Rights & Responsibilities of candidates during Polling, counting, re-totalling and re-counting.
  • Issues related to working of Electronic Voting Machines including rights & responsibilities of Political Parties and Candidates
  • Election Expenditure
  • Laws/Instructions related to election expenditures
  • Process of filing expenditure statements during and after election process
  • Disqualifications for non-submission of expenditure
  • Election Petitions
  • Governing Laws
  • Procedure for filing petitions
  • Training Modules for Election agents, polling agents and counting agents of Political parties and candidates
  • Research and analysis of
  • Voter turnout
  • Voting trend
  • Voters behaviour during poling

 Institutions of Higher education including Law Universities & Institutions:

Vinod Zutshi, with his vast experience in handling election laws and conducting elections for 7 years, is a “Resource Person” for imparting learnings & sharing experiences on Election Laws and issues related to election process, management and electoral reforms. 
Elections, being an important subject of learning in law universities, institutions and colleges of higher education, the services of Vinod Zutshi can be availed, as Speaker and Guest Lecturer.

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