72. Fresh poll in the case of destruction, etc. of ballot boxes

  1. If at any election -
    1. any ballot box used at a polling station or at a place fixed for the poll is unlawfully taken out of the custody of the presiding officer or the returning officer, or is accidentally or intentionally destroyed or lost, or is damaged or tampered with, to such an extent, that the result of the poll at that polling station or place cannot be ascertained, or
    2. any such error or irregularity in procedure as is likely to vitiate the poll is committed at a polling station or at a place fixed for the poll, the returning officer shall forthwith report the mater to the State Election Commission.
  2. Thereupon the State Election Commission shall, after taking all material circumstances into account, either –
    1. declare the poll at that polling station or place to be void, appoint a day and fix the hours, for taking a fresh poll at that polling station or place and notify the day so appointed and the hours so fixed in such manner as it may deem fit, or
    2. if satisfied that the result of a fresh poll at that polling station or place will not, in any way, affect the result of the election or that the error or irregularity in procedure is not material, issue such directions to the returning officer as it may deem proper for the further conduct and completion of the election.
  3. The provisions, of this Act and of any rules or orders made hereunder shall apply to every such fresh poll as they apply to the original poll.