IN FOCUS: Cash seizure Lok Sabha Election 2019

Final call on Vellore election after report: EC

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, left, along with his colleague Sushil Chandra, addressing the media in Chennai on Thursday.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, left, along with his colleague Sushil Chandra, addressing the media in Chennai on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

I-T Department claims to have seized over ₹15 crore cash from the house of a DMK functionary

The Election Commission is awaiting a comprehensive report from the investigating agencies in the Vellore cash seizure case before it takes any action, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said.

Speaking at a press conference here after reviewing the preparedness for the conduct of elections in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Lavasa said there was a procedure to be followed in such cases. “There’s a preliminary report that is given to the EC. After this is received, there is a comprehensive procedure by law enforcement agencies that has to be followed. Whatever decision needs to be taken will be after the report is received,” he said.

When asked if there was a possibility of the election to the Vellore constituency being countermanded, Mr. Lavasa said, “We can take a decision only after getting a report after the investigation is complete. Whatever possibilities exist in law will be looked at”.

The Income Tax department said that over ₹15.13 crore cash was recovered from the house of Poonjolai Srinivasan, a DMK functionary, believed to be a close associate of Mr. Durai Murugan in Vellore district on Monday.

Voter data

The number of voters in Tamil Nadu is about to touch the six-crore mark in 2019. The State has 5.99 crore voters with 2.95 crore male voters, 3.02 crore female voters and 5,790 third gender voters. As many as 66,112 voters are service voters, the Election Commission said.

Till Wednesday, seizures of over ₹270 crore had been made by various investigating agencies in Tamil Nadu. This included cash, gold, silver, various gift items and other such items, Mr. Lavasa said.

The Election Commissioner said 8,787 history sheeters had been ‘bound over’ to ensure that the election process was not vitiated. This would mean they would restrained from performing certain activities for a specific period.

“The Commission has directed the DCs and police officers to carefully look into law and order concerns and take appropriate action for building conducive environment,” he said. Out of a total of 21,925 arms in the State, 19,655 had been deposited, he said.

The Commission would ensure adequate CCTV coverage and webcasting at polling stations in sensitive areas, he said, adding that all the police check-posts across the State would be under 24x7 webcasting and videography for the entire period of election.

“The Commission also directed that basic facilities of electricity, ramps, sheds, drinking water, toilets be provided without fail,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:26:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/final-call-on-vellore-election-after-report-ec/article26742197.ece

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