The probe by the Election Commission authorities against secondary education minister K Parthasarathy for alleged suppression of a case of violation of foreign exchange rules in his election affidavit in the Assembly election will be completed this week.
The minister, who is representing Penamaluru constituency in Krishna district, will either face a six months’ imprisonment or a permanent debarment from contesting elections.
“The minister did not furnish details of the case in his affidavit.
We are contemplating either seeking a chargesheet copy directly from the Enforcement Directorate or issuing a notice to the minister seeking his clarification,” a revenue official told Express.
If EC officials got hold of a copy of the chargesheet they could proceed against the minister, he said.
It means that the noose will tighten around the minister’s neck.
When a local court fined him in the FERA violation case, Parthasarathy did not pay the money and was sentenced to imprisonment for two months.
He then challenged the verdict in a higher court.
That case pertained to financial irregularity which concerned the Enforcement Directorate of the Union finance ministry.
The poll panel’s probe is concerned with suppression of the fact of that case in his nomination affidavit.
He is accused of not furnishing the details of case details while filing his nomination papers to contest the elections in 2004 and 2009.
The Election Commission officials are trying to establish this lapse on his part.
If it is established, the EC may bar him from contesting elections permanently or send him to jail for six months as per its rules.
Election Commissioner HS Brahma told reporters in Delhi on Sunday that if the allegations were proved, the returning officer could file criminal case against him.
Brahma said the returning officer would decide and take appropriate action on the charge that Parthasarathy had hidden information.
“According to law, Parthasarathi could be disqualified or be sentenced to six months’ imprisonment if found guilty,” Brahma added.
Revenue officials, who acted as returning officers in the 2009 elections, said that the Penamuluru returning officer was likely to submit the facts to the Krishna district collector who, in turn, would recommend action to the chief electoral officer.
The EC will take action based on CEO’s report.
Parthasarathy has already been convicted by the economic offences court to undergo imprisonment for two months for violation of FERA as managing director of Hyderabad-based KRR Tele Products Limited, on a petition filed by the Enforcement Directorate but the same court suspended the operation of the judgment to allow the minister to move a higher court.
The minister was also sentenced to pay a fine Rs 5.15 lakh.