Election officials should stop harassing jewellers and confiscating their consignments unless there is a violation of the model code of conduct, jewellers body GJF said.
“Not just jewellers but also small businessmen, who have to carry cash for day-to-day business transactions are being harassed and humiliated by surveillance teams constituted by the Election Commission,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman Haresh Soni said.
He said election officials shouldn’t harass people if no criminality is suspected — that is, if there is no election campaign material and no party functionary or worker of the contesting candidates/parties present along with the individual carrying or transporting jewellery.
“Even if the individual is not able to produce all relevant documents at that point of time, high value jewellery cannot be confiscated from that jeweller/person if no election campaign materials are found alongside with the jewellery consignment,” Soni said.
Referring to a recent order, GJF said that after investigation, the district election officer found that the claimant Thangamayil Jewellery had not violated model code of conduct. It ordered the release of 3,036.7 grams of gold and 6,327.250 grams of silver that was confiscated while transporting it from head office to branch offices in Tamil Nadu. GJF represents over 6,00,000 players comprising manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.