‘An individual or party can, however, file an election petition before court against him for hiding info in the affidavit’
The Election Commission has ruled out the possibility of filing a suo motu petition before the relevant court against Secondary Education Minister K. Parthasarathy for his failure to make a mention of the economic offence case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate in the affidavit he submitted during the 2009 Assembly elections.
A highly-placed official in the EC said an individual/party could, however, file an election petition before the court quoting sections of IPC or Cr.P.C against Mr. Parthasarathy for allegedly hiding the information in the affidavit.
The trial of violation of the provisions under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) that took place prior to Mr. Parthasarathy contesting the elections is unlikely to end in a severe punishment, much less his being disqualified from the post, the official said.
Pressed for his reaction in the light of the Opposition TDP’s demand that the EC file an election petition against the Minister, the official told this correspondent from New Delhi that the possibility of such an action even by an individual was ruled out at this juncture as the special court’s verdict was not final and the Minister had been allowed to approach a higher court.
Dwelling on other matters, the official said the new facility developed by the ECIL to enable voters to verify whether the vote cast by them in the electronic voting machine (EVM) for the candidate of his choice was being subjected to a second field trial.
The facility named ‘Voter verifiable paper audit trial’ (VVPAT) was akin to adding a printer to the EVM. It was displayed to the EC last month. As printers were known for developing glitches, a second field trial of VVPAT was being undertaken on Saturday.
Mock polling would subsequently be conducted at 25 selected polling stations across the country using the VVPAT-attached EVMs.
The places where these booths were located, were known for extreme weather conditions and this was necessary to conduct the trials on VVPAT-linked EVMs. These stations were in five Assembly constituencies in Leh, Rajasthan, Chirapunji and Delhi.
Once trials were successful, the facility would be introduced in elections in a phased manner, the official said.