CHENNAI: Tightening the screws further for eliminating money power in the Assembly elections, the Election Commission has formed Income Tax teams in all 32 districts which would monitor movement of hawala and huge transaction of cash. Each IT team is comprised of an Assistant Commissioner (IT), three IT officers and six IT Inspectors.
Meanwhile, EC has appointed four Nodal Officers for election-related issues: A Sivagnanam, Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Rajeev Kumar, IG, CN Maheswaran, Commissioner, Prohibition and Excise and V Roy Jose, Joint Director, IT (Investigation).
CEILING MAY GO UP: Following complaints from various quarters including from small traders, the CEO’s office had written to the Election Commission for increasing the ceiling on money taken by small traders from Rs 50,000 to Rs One lakh. “Once the EC permits this, it would be announced”,sources said.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni told mediapersons that if the amount seized by EC squads remain below Rs One lakh, steps should be taken to return it within 24 hours if it was not meant for election purposes. If the seized money is below Rs.5 lakh, then steps should be taken to return it after enquiries within three days. In case of seizure above Rs.10 lakh, the case would be referred to the IT department. He said from April 22, the day nomination for the elections would start, vehicle checks would be intensified further to prevent transportation of money.
In an official release, the CEO said so far, Rs 8.52 crore of unaccounted money had been seized across the State. Of the 1,37,711 complaints received on model code violations, 78,371 complaints had been disposed of while FIRs had been filed in 620 cases. The EC would be sending the postal vote papers to around 4.5 lakh service voters in Tamil Nadu in the first week of May to avoid any last minute complaints.