March 2018
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lea in Madras HC to file case against Tamil Nadu CM, TTV Dhinakaran, ministers
(Chennai, June 18,2017):Ruling AIADMK could be in for more trouble with a petition being filed in the Madras high court seeking registration of case against Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, AIADMK deputy general secretary T. T. V. Dhinakaran and four cabinet colleagues for allegedly distributing cash to voters in the RK Nagar bypoll.

The petition seeks filing of FIR against Mr Palaniswami, Mr Dhinakaran and ministers K. A. Sengottaiyan, Sellur K.. Raju, P. Thangamani and Dr C. Vijayabhaskar on charges of distribution of cash for votes in bypoll cancelled.

Complaining that the Chief Electoral Officer had not taken action against them “despite order from Election Commission”, petitioner M. P. Vairakkannan has approached the court seeking direction to the police to conduct investigation against them after registering case and file charge sheet before the concerned court. The matter would be taken up for hearing soon.

In the petition, Vairakkannan stated that during the election campaign, it was alleged the AIADMK (Amma)’s candidate, T. T. V. Dhinakaran, and his partymen were distributing huge money to voters. However, authorities had not taken any action against them for large-scale distribution of money to induce/bribe voters to influence the byelection, the petition said.

“While so the income tax department conducted a raid on April 7, 2017, in the residence of Vijayabhaskar and officials seized a number of documents to show that Dhinakaran had indulged in large number of election malpractice of distributing huge money to voters in the RK Nagar Constituency. Documents seized in his house revealed that over Rs 90 crore was distributed to ministers and Chief Minister," the petition said.

The petitioner also complained that no action has been taken against defaulters so far since the Election Commission cancelled the polls. The petitioner sought details through RTI from ECI regarding action taken relating to the colossal malpractice. In its reply, the ECI had stated in a letter dated April 18, 2017, that it had directed returning officer to file case.

In the letter, secretary, ECI, Malay Mallick directed the quick and appropriate action taken by police and ECI might be appraised about it at the earliest. The petitioner sought direction to the Chief Electoral Officer and police to initiate action against Dhinakaran, CM and ministers and direct the police to file case against them. The confusion arose after an RTI reply from the EC to petitioner M.P. Vairakkannan said the CEO has been asked to register FIR regarding allegations of bribing the voters. After the petitioner released the RTI copies, the ECI came out with a clarification. “It may be recalled that ECI in March issued directions to CEO, TN to lodge FIR. No specific individuals indicated (since) it will depend upon investigation,” an official spokesperson of the ECI said.

Election Commission has filed at least 12 cases in connection with allegations of bribe to voters in the now cancelled R K Nagar by-polls and has not named any “specific individual” in the FIRs.

The ECI also clarified it “no specific individuals” have been indicated in the FIRs after reports emerged that it had asked the Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu to book the top brass of the AIADMK Government and the AIADMK in connection with allegations of cash for vote.

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