Assembly Election 2021: EC's cVIGIL portal to help citizens report MCC violations; here's how
cVIGIL is a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system which connects vigilant citizens with the district control room, returning officer, and a field unit.
The Election Commission’s cVIGIL is an online portal which allows citizens to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and expenditure norms.
It is a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system which connects vigilant citizens with the district control room, returning officer, and a field unit.
The application promises status reports within 100 minutes of a user submitting a complaint. Citizens in election boundaries can submit their reports by capturing digital evidence via the app.
How cVIGIL works
The cVIGIL application allows its users to record and submit photo and video evidence of the misconduct. Each complaint, when submitted, is assigned to a field unit comprising flying squads, static surveillance team, reserve team, etc.
Once the field unit has acted on the complaint, an update is sent to the relevant returning officer. The user is informed about the status of the complaint within 100 minutes of its submission.
Citizens have the option of submitting their complaints on the cVIGIL app without revealing their identity or personal details.
The app also has a geo-tagging feature which is automatically enabled when users switch on their camera in the app to report a violation. This feature helps the field unit know the precise location of the incident. The app was first operationalised as a pilot project from October to December 2018 during the Assembly elections for five states.
Features to prevent misuse
The application can be used only within the geographical boundaries of states where elections are being held.
Users get five minutes to report an incident after clicking a picture or video on the app. cVIGIL doesn’t allow users to upload pre-recorded images or videos saved in their phone gallery.
To prevent misuse of the system and to avoid repetitive complaints from the same spot, the system forces time delay of five minutes between successive complaints by the same person.
The district controller is allowed to drop duplicate, frivolous and unrelated cases before the cases are assigned to the field unit.
The poll panel has specified on several occasions that cVIGIL should be used for lodging MCC violation-related cases only. A cVIGIL complaint will be dropped in case personal grievances are registered through the app or the digital attachment of a cVIGIL complaint is found to be unrelated to an MCC violation.
To lodge complaints unrelated to MCC and expenditure violations, citizens can visit the election commission’s main website, eci.gov.in, or call helpline number 1950.
The cVIGIL application can be downloaded from Google Play Store and App Store.
The Assembly elections for four states and one Union Territory viz. Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry will be held from 27 March to 29 April. The counting of votes will be held on 2 May.
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