CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday ordered notices to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and AIADMK former minister KC Veeramani on a petition accusing him of having submitted a false declaration in his nomination to contest the 2021 TN Assembly election. The court asked why the ECI, the “most powerful authority” in the country, failed to act on such a complaint.
The issue pertains to a complaint by B Ramamoorthy, a voter from Vellore who alleged that all the information provided by Veeramani in his nomination papers was false and that he suppressed several pieces of vital information pertaining to his assets.He said that furnishing such false information in the nomination form amounted to cheating the voters of the assembly segment.
When the plea came up for hearing on Monday, senior advocate G Rajagopalan for ECI submitted that the representation of the petitioner had been disposed of, giving him liberty to file a private complaint against the candidate in his personal capacity. He added that the provision for the ECI to file such complaints has been amended in 1966 and that the commission is not required to do so now.
The First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, recording the submissions, observed: “It is of importance that the purity of the election system be upheld by ensuring that at least the affidavits sworn by candidates, the declarations furnished by them, and the information provided therein are accurate.”
The court said that when the ECI perceives the alleged misdeclaration or furnishing of false information to be insignificant, it is well within its rights to not take any action. But, when sufficient material indicating a motive to conceal accurate information is furnished, the ECI, with its wide authority, should step forward to look into the matter.The bench ordered the ECI to respond to the plea in two weeks.