PE into the seizure of Rs 570 crore cash in Tamil Nadu ahead of assembly elections
NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a preliminary enquiry into the alleged seizure of Rs 570 crore cash in three tanker Election Commission officials ahead of Tamil Nadu assembly elections.
“The Madras High Court directed the agency to register a preliminary enquiry and probe into the case. Preliminary Enquiry has been registered and we have started investigation into the matter,” said a senior CBI spokesperson officer.
Madras High Court directed the CBI to investigate and take necessary action in connection with the Rs 570 crore cash seized in Tiruppur during the state assembly elections in May. The ruling comes in reply to a petition filed by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader T K S Elangovan.
It is alleged that around midnight of May 13, 2016, Election Commission Surveillance team stationed at Tiruppur chased down and seized three tanker lorries with Rs 570 crore in cash which were escorted by three Innova.
The seizure made three days before May 16, 2016 when Tamil Nadu was scheduled to go for polling had sent ripples in the administration as DMK alleged it was hawala money.
In his petition, Elangovan had alleged when the surveillance team of EC questioned the three drivers and the persons, who accompanied the said lorries, in Innova cars, they were not in a position to give proper answers or documents for transportation of huge sum of Rs 570 crore.
It was found that the documents submitted by these persons did not have the vehicle numbers of the container lorries, he had alleged.
The persons who accompanied the vehicles in three Innova cars, claimed that they were security officers from Andhra Pradesh, but there were not in uniform, he claimed. The lorries were detained at the office of the district collector.
Elangovan, a Rajya Sabha MP and press relations secretary of the DMK alleged that the papers related to the money transfer were fake and senior bank officials forged documents and authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India, to transport huge sums of hawala money during the state elections.
A day after seizure, State Bank of India had staked its claim over Rs 570 seized by EC crore saying it was a currency transaction from its currency chest in Coimbatore to another currency chest in Visakhapatnam with the approval of the RBI.
Earlier, in a litigation related to the detention of the money, the RBI had told the court the money belonged to it and was being handled by SBI with its permission.