Seizure of cash from people linked to BJP's Nainar Nagendran doesn't warrant disqualification: Madras HC

The petitioner alleged that Rs 3.99 crore was seized from the persons and premises related to Nagendran, while Rs 28.50 lakh was seized from the office of DMK's Tirunelveli East secretary.
Tirunelveli BJP Lok Sabha candidate Nainar Nagendran
Tirunelveli BJP Lok Sabha candidate Nainar Nagendran File Photo | Express

CHENNAI: The first bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday observed that the cash seized from persons or premises related to BJP candidate Nainar Nagendran does not warrant disqualification of his candidature.

The first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice J Sathya Narayana Prasad made the observation while disposing of a petition filed by an independent candidate Raghavan seeking disqualification of Nagendran and Congress candidate Robert Bruce.

The petitioner alleged that Rs 3.99 crore was seized from the persons and premises related to Nainar Nagendran, while Rs 28.50 lakh was seized from the office of DMK's Tirunelveli East secretary.

The cash was meant for bribing the voters and hence both Nagendran and Bruce shall be disqualified from contesting the polls, he urged.

However, the bench said, "Disqualification is not warranted."

Advocate Niranjan Rajagopalan, appearing for ECI, submitted that a criminal case has been registered and the probe is under way. He said that further action will be taken based on the probe report.

He added that the Income Tax department was also informed of the matter since the amount involved was huge. Recording the submission, the court disposed of the petition.

Nagendran is the BJP's candidate for Tirunelveli Lok Sabha constituency. On April 7, Rs 3.9 crore was seized from three people allegedly linked to the BJP candidate who were travelling on an express train headed to Tirunelveli. Nagendran has so far denied any connection with those apprehended with the cash.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed another petition seeking cross-verification of votes polled in EVM with the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). The court said that the Supreme Court was already seized of the issue. The petition was filed by F Camilus Selva.

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