THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Crime Branch probe into the suspected foul play in the postal ballots of police personnel follows a direction by the chief electoral officer Teeka Ram Meena to engage a specialised agency.“We wanted a serious investigation and hence the direction for a specialised agency. The Crime Branch was picked by the state police chief,” Meena told Express.
The CEO on Wednesday asked the state police to conduct a detailed inquiry into the suspected foul play and submit a report latest by May 15. He will take a final call on the issue after receiving the report.
Meena also asked the Pathanamthitta District Collector to investigate the allegation that a religious head asked his followers to ensure the win of LDF candidates in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur. The candidates are Veena George and Rajaji Mathew Thomas.
The preliminary report submitted by the police chief on Wednesday said prima facie the Kerala Police Association had involvement in the incident. Meena said the detailed inquiry was to fix the accountability and to know the extent of involvement of the KPA. Also, the next probe should find whether similar incidents like that reported from Thiruvananthapuram occurred in other districts. “There are indications the association had a role in the reported incidents of foul play. The police chief has been asked to investigate whether the district nodal officers committed lapses in obeying the directions of the police chief on postal ballots,” he said. The CEO has asked the police chief to take action against the commando who sent a WhatsApp direction on postal ballots to the members of the force. Action should be taken under Sections 136D, F and G of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 and provisions under the Kerala Government Servants’ Conduct Rules.
The Sections 136D, F and G for supplying or receiving ballot paper without due authority, destroy or interfere it, and abetting both invites punishment with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
The CB investigation will also cover the complaints levelled by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala should be probed.