VELLORE: The Returning Officer,[RO] Block Development Office [BDO], Leo Paul, has violated the requirements of Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act 1994 [Act] by accepting the nomination papers of the former panchayat president, V Kasi, for the Thellur by-election .
V Kasi, who was the panchayat president of Thellur from 2006 to 2011, was one of the three candidates in the fray for the post of the president of Thellur Panchayat by-election to be held on September 18. He filed his nomination papers on September 3.
K Parthasarathy,an RTI activist and resident of the panchayat, filed a petition to the RO, BDO of Vellore, Leo Paul on September 5, submitting documents supporting his charge that Kasi was not eligible to contest the election. Citing the Act, which states that a person in arrears of any kind of due (otherwise than in a fiduciary capacity), to a panchayat up to and inclusive of the previous year is disqualified to contest the election, Parthasarathy said Kasi had swindled `32 lakh during his tenure as panchayat president in 2006-2011.
“There is an audit pending against Kasi for over `32 lakh. There is sufficient evidence available with the officials. It was raised in local audit and Kasi is yet to clear the audit,” he said. Going by the rules and regulations of the Act, Kasi is not qualified to contest the by-election.
A candidate should submit a ‘no objection’ certificate obtained from the Collector along with nomination papers. “The official did not follow any rules and blatantly violated the rules,” he said. Parthasarathy said he had submitted a petition to Collector R Nanthagopal raising objections regarding the issue.
The Thellur panchayat president post has been lying vacant for the last three months after president Saravanan was removed from the post on charges of misappropriation of funds and violating rules.