Cash seizure does not disqualify poll candidate, says Madras HC

The petitioner said the cash was meant for bribing the voters and hence both Nagendran and Bruce shall be disqualified from contesting the polls.
The Madras High Court
The Madras High Court (File Photo| PTI)

CHENNAI: 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 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 28.5 lakh was seized from the office of DMK’s Tirunelveli east district secretary.

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

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

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

Nagendran is the BJP candidate for Tirunelveli Lok Sabha constituency.

On April 7, Rs 3.9 crore was seized from three people, allegedly linked to him, on a train headed to Tirunelveli. Nagendran has denied any link with those apprehended.

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 apprised of the issue. The petition was filed by F Camilus Selva.

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