Bypoll bribery: EC orders FIR against EPS, Dhinakaran
The Election Commission has directed to register an FIR against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami, AIADMK leaders TTV Dhinakaran, and some Ministers in RK Nagar bypoll bribery case.
In a response to Right to Information (RTI) query, the Election Commission has stated that it had received a report from the Income Tax Department regarding the search and seizure of certain documents indicating large scale distribution of money to bribe voters to influence the bypolls in RK Nagar Assembly Constituency which is an offence under Section 171B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Commission has demanded a quick and appropriate action while filing the FIR in the matter.
The RTI application was filed by Advocate Vairakannan with the EC. He sought to know from the poll panel as to why the bypoll was cancelled and what action was followed up.
The EC had countermanded on April 9 the RK Nagar bypoll in Tamil Nadu scheduled for April 12 following allegations that the voters were being bribed by political parties. Based on the documents seized during the I-T raids on Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar’s properties in Chennai in early April, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had submitted a report to the EC saying that around Rs90 crore were set aside by the AIADMK to be distributed among the voters.
AIADMK’s jailed general secretary VK Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran was contesting from RK Nagar Assembly constituency. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who represented the constituency. In another case of bribery, Dhinakaran was arrested on April 26. Dhinakaran was accused of trying to bribe EC officials to get AIADMK’s poll symbol -- Two Leaves -- for the Amma faction of the party.
Dhinakaran was accused of giving money to middleman Sukesh Chandrasekar, who had been arrested on April 16. The Tees Hazari court of Delhi granted bail to Dhinakaran on June 5 in this case. The EC had frozen the AIADMK’s symbol after the two factions -- one led by Dhinakaran’s aunt Sasikala and the other by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam -- staked a claim to it.
Dhinakaran is facing the charge of arranging the money from undisclosed sources and getting it transferred from Chennai to Delhi through illegal channels
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