Will take Action on the Rs 3.99 crore Seized from Train in Chennai, EC tells Madras HC

The Election Commission of India on Thursday told the Madras High Court that it would take further action on the seizure of Rs 3.99 crore from three passengers of a train bound for Tirunelveli from Chennai’s Tambaram railway station.

ECI counsel Niranjan Rajagopalan told the court that the poll panel would take action after the police completed its investigation and filed a final report.

Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice J. Sathya Narayana Prasad also recorded the submission of ECI counsel that as the amount of money, seized from Tambaram railway station on April 7, was very large, the Income Tax Department too had been intimated about it.

Subsequently, the judges disposed of a writ petition filed by C.M. Raghavan, an independent candidate in the Tirunelveli Parliamentary constituency, who has alleged that the money belonged to BJP candidate Nainar Nagendran and therefore, he must be disqualified.

The petitioner also sought the disqualification of the Congress candidate Robert Bruce as an amount of Rs 28.5 lakh had been seized from DMK’s Tirunelveli East district secretary’s office on April 4.

The petitioner told the court that the money was meant to bribe voters and added that he had given a representation to the ECI to disqualify the Congress candidate since his party is an ally of the DMK.

The petitioner’s counsel A. Immanuel told the court that the election laws provide for the disqualification of legislators who are elected through corrupt means and therefore, a direction must be issued to the ECI to take necessary action on the basis of the investigation into the seizures.

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The counsel also sought the court fix a time limit for the ECI to take action on the basis of the representation made by the writ petitioner. However, the Chief Justice said it might not be appropriate to fix a time limit since the ECI would have to wait for the completion of the police investigation.

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