137. Offence of booth capturing

Whoever commits an offence of booth capturing shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine, and where such offence is committed
by a person in the service of the Government or a local authority, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine.

Explanation. – For the purposes of this section, ‘booth capturing’ includes among other things, all or any of the following activities, namely: -

  1. seizure of a polling station or a place fixed for the poll by any person or persons, making polling authorities surrender the ballot papers or voting machines and doing of any other act which affects the orderly conduct of elections.
  2. taking possession of a polling station or a place fixed for the poll by any person or persons and allowing only his or their own supporters to exercise their right to vote and prevent others from voting.
  3. threatening any elector and preventing him from going to the polling station or a place fixed for the poll to cast his vote;
  4. seizure of a place for counting of votes by any person or persons, making the counting authorities surrender the ballot papers or voting machines and the doing of anything which affects the orderly counting of votes.
  5. doing by any person in the service of the Government or a local authority of all or any of the aforesaid activities or aiding or conniving at, any such activity in the furtherance of the prospects of the election of a candidate.