Election Commission (EC) officials in Belgaum have detected a purported electoral malpractice in which an Independent candidate allegedly bought a personal accident insurance policy for the entire electorate in an Assembly constituency.
Munish Moudgil, district election officer, has requested the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority to cancel the policy bought for more than 1.81 lakh voters of Khanapur by Anjali Nimbalkar, a candidate. Dr. Nimbalkar is the wife of Hemant Nimbalkar, an IPS officer of Karnataka cadre.
In a letter to IRDA chairman T. S Vijayan, Mr. Moudgil has sought cancellation of the policy as, according to him, it violates IRDA guidelines and provisions of the Representation of the People Act. The policy was obtained by Dr. Anjalitayi Nimbalkar Vichar Manch, a front for the candidate, Mr. Moudgil said.
The letter says that an inquiry into the incident by the Returning Officer found that the action amounted to bribery and undue influence. It also fits into the definition of a corrupt practice, as defined by the RP Act. The inquiry was launched after Dasarath Shankar Banoshi, a resident of Khanapur, filed a complaint with the EC.
The New Assurance Company Ltd. (NACL) policy provides each of the 1,81,346 voters a personal accident insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh. The total amount of premium paid for the policy was Rs. 45.33 lakh.
In a report submitted to the EC, NACL senior divisional manager Sushama Anupam said all persons holding valid voter identity cards as per the 2013 electoral rolls were proposed as the target beneficiary group.
The policy also violates the IRDA guidelines, according to the letter. The guidelines prohibit formation of a group with the main purpose of availing insurance. It also stipulates there should be a “clearly evident relationship” between members of the group and the group manager for services other than insurance. These two guidelines were clearly violated. It was done solely for the purpose of giving and availing insurance, he said.
Mr. Moudgil has sent a report to the Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha and has sought necessary action. The Khanapur police have also registered a case.