The Madras High Court on Friday asked the Tamil Nadu government to explain as to why names figuring in the Election Commission and IT Department reports on the alleged bribing of RK Nagar assembly segment voters were not mentioned in the relevant FIR.
The FIR against unnamed persons had been registered on a complaint by the Returning Officer of the constituency, where the April 12 byelection was rescinded by the EC over the alleged use of money power to influence voters.
A bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and M Sundar sought the government’s explanation while hearing a lawsuit by one M P Vairakkannan, seeking the court’s direction for lodging an FIR on the electoral malpractices in the RK Nagar bypoll.
The court also issued notice to the Election Commission, Chennai police commissioner, the Tamil Nadu’s chief electoral officer, besides the returning officer of RK Nagar assembly constituency seeking their replies by July 14 to the petition.
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On June 19, the court had sought a status report from the EC on the matter and had directed the Chennai police to submit the case diary. Accordingly, the EC and the police had submitted their reports to the bench on Friday.
After perusing the reports, the bench said the Income Tax report mentioned several names while the EC report had three particular names. It said none of the names were there in the FIR with the column for the names of accused left blank.
In his response, the attorney general said these were the slips which were seized at the time of the raid conducted by the IT department and that investigation was underway.
To this, the bench again asked the AG, “Why the names that were mentioned in the report of EC were not shown in the FIR?” The bench then directed the high court registry to keep all the reports in a sealed cover.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami earlier this week informed the state assembly that a case had been registered in this regard by police and investigation was on. He was responding to Leader of Opposition M K Stalin (DMK) and Congress members who raised the issue of EC asking the state Chief Electoral Officer to instruct the Returning Officer to lodge a police complaint on the alleged bribing of voters in RK Nagar constituency.