Close on the heels of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) being impleaded in the 2016 RK Nagar bypoll voter bribery case, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to file its reply on the plea by the DMK seeking to transfer the case to central agency.
The bench in its earlier order had impleaded the CBI in the case after holding that the Abhiramapuram police, who registered the FIR, failed to name anyone as accused despite availability of three names, including that of Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, in the report filed by the Income Tax department.
Besides this, the prosecution had failed to apprise a single judge, who quashed the FIR, that the quash petition was moved by a person whose name had not even figured in the FIR. Moreover, the de facto complainant had not been impleaded as a party to the case.
The bench then held that “the materials placed before this court would prima facie indicate that despite the availability of some names given in the Returning Officer’s communication on April 21, 2017, the Inspector of Police, Abhiramapuram Police Station on examination of as many as 882 witnesses, has failed to cite anybody as accused till the quashing of the FIR.”
The issue pertains to a plea moved by the then DMK candidate, N Maruthu Ganesh, alleging large scale electoral malpractices during the byelection by the ruling AIADMK, which was subsequently deferred by the Election Commission of India.
Maruthu Ganesh, on citing the letter from the Income Tax department on April 8, 2017 which led to the ECI rescinding the election, said action was required to be taken relating to search and seizures conducted at 21 places in Chennai and 11 places outside the city in Tamil Nadu belonging to Minister Vijaya Baskar and his associates leading to huge seizure of cash meant for distribution to voters.