HC dismisses bullion dealers’ plea on seizures

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed writ petitions filed by the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants’ Association and the Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers’ Association to restrain the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer from seizing gold jewellery transported by their members along with valid documents, as part of their regular business activities.

A Division Bench of Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad refused to entertain the cases.

The Bench said no such blanket restraint order could be passed against the commission since it might hamper regular election work, especially when large-scale complaints were being received from several quarters with regard to gold rings being offered as bribe during elections.

The judges also said that genuine bullion merchants could always take back their seized goods, if any, on production of documents demanded by the officials concerned, though no time frame could be fixed either by the court or the Election Commission for the return of those goods.

The goods could be returned only on a case-by-case basis after scrutiny of the documents.

They also recorded the submission of EC counsel Niranjan Rajagopalan that suitable instructions had already been issued to the officials concerned with respect to seizures as well as return of property.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:42:43 AM |

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