Rs. 59 crore seized since 2009 general elections lying unutilised in Central Treasury
The Election Commission (EC) has identified Andhra Pradesh as a State where money flows like water during the elections. According to the election authorities here, a large sum of Rs. 59 crore seized since the 2009 general elections has been lying in the Central Treasury without any scope of using it for public purpose.
The reason is that no charge-sheets have been filed so far in a majority of 800 and odd cases filed in courts relating to the seizure of Rs. 38 crore, let alone trials.
This delay is attributed to the inability of the EC and Income Tax Department to spare staff to oversee the trial apart from the pendency of other cases in the courts. Adding to these, another 74 cases were filed during the by-elections to Kadapa Loka Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly seats (Rs 3.5 crore was seized) and 200 cases during the by-elections to seven Assembly seats later (Rs 9.5 crore).
Rs. 14.5 crore seized
As far as the present by-elections are concerned, Rs 14.5 crore has been seized even before the EC issued a formal notification, indicating the amount of money being poured into the campaign. Over 200 cases are likely to be booked in this connection. All cash seized and found to be unaccounted for attracts punishment under the Representation of People Act and the IT Act.
It was during the tenure of I.V. Subba Rao as Chief Electoral Officer during the 2009 Assembly elections that the EC cracked down on distribution of cash to liberate electoral system from money power. A whopping amount of Rs. 38 crore was seized at that time. CEO Bhanwar Lal says he is determined to ensure quick disposal of cases by introducing reforms and regularly reviewing the progress of trial.