The Election Commission is considering forwarding to the Returning Officers the BJP’s complaint against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of the Congress and his wife Pratibha Singh that they had suppressed facts in their affidavits filed during elections.

Informed sources said suppressing information in an affidavit filed before an RO was a non-cognisable offence, bailable and non-compoundable offence. The RO has powers to file a complaint before a magistrate if he is satisfied that facts were suppressed or false information was given in an affidavit.

Section 177 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with the offence, states: “Whoever, being legally bound to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, furnishes, as true, information on the subject which he knows or has reason to believe to be false, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”

Mr. Virbhadra Singh represents the Shimla Rural Assembly constituency, his wife was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mandi.