Erode (East) bypoll | 56 illegal sheds have been closed down, EC tells Madras High Court

The Commission says 40 of them were closed by those who had erected them and 16 were sealed by election officials; permission had been obtained for 107 sheds

Published - February 24, 2023 09:36 pm IST

The Election Commission on Friday told the Madras High Court that 56 illegal sheds put up by the political parties for campaigning in the Erode (East) Assembly constituency were closed down. While 40 of them were closed by those who had erected them, the rest were sealed by election officials.

Appearing before the First Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, Election Commission counsel Niranjan Rajagopalan said the Commission had received complaints regarding 163 illegal sheds, but 107 of them were found to have obtained permission for campaigning.

The submission was made during the hearing of a writ petition filed by Independent candidate A. Ravi accusing the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of having erected over 150 illegal sheds to confine the voters and garner their support for the Congress candidate contesting as part of their alliance in the byelection.

He had sought a direction to the Commission to initiate action against the erection of such illegal sheds. After recording the submission made by the Commission counsel, the judges disposed of the case with the observation that the Commission would continue to keep a vigil and take action on receipt of specific complaints.

While hearing another writ petition filed by another Independent candidate M. Kannan accusing the DMK as well as the Congress of freely bribing the voters in cash and kind, the judges said the litigant had made a general allegation without mentioning specific instances. They said the Commission would have to certainly act on receipt of specific complaints.

Dealing with yet another case filed by S. Xavier Felix, State president of the legal wing of the Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), the court recorded the submission of State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohamed Jinnah that the police had registered cases against DMK as well as NTK workers for the clash during the campaign on Wednesday.

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