Tamil Nadu

Retired IRS officer appointed Special Expenditure Observer

Election to Vellore Lok Sabha seat scheduled for August 5

A retired Indian Revenue Service officer, B. Murali Kumar, has been appointed as the Special Expenditure Observer for the election to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat on August 5, the Election Commission (EC) said in a statement on Tuesday.

On April 14, the EC recommended to the President to rescind the election to the seat after ₹11.48 crore in cash was seized from an alleged associate of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan, whose son was the Vellore candidate of the party. Mr. Kumar, a 1983 batch IRS officer, was the Director-General (investigations) of Income Tax in Chennai when the search and seizure operations were carried out, the EC said.

“The decision of the EC to rescind the election in Vellore Parliamentary constituency was based on the detection of a systematic design to influence voters...during the election process,” the statement said.

During the searches, Income Tax officials found cash as well as printouts detailing the “proposed assembly segment, ward and booth-wise money distribution, suggesting a clear-cut pattern and design to induce the electors at a large scale across the Vellore Parliamentary constituency”.

In all, the searches uncovered ₹61.76 crore in connection with the Lok Sabha election, the ECI said. Madhu Mahajan, who was the Special Expenditure Observer, recommended countermanding of the Vellore election “as the organised way of inducement of voters had vitiated the electoral environment and the situation was not conducive for the conduct of free and fair elections,” the ECI said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:19:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/retired-irs-officer-appointed-special-expenditure-observer-vellore-lok-sabha-election/article28494557.ece

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