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FERA case: Plea to reject TTV Dinakaran’s nomination

Targeting the candidature of AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran in the ensuing RK Nagar by-election, a plea has been moved in the Madras High Court challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, which excludes punishment and penalty imposed under Customs Act 1962 and Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) 1973.

FERA case: Plea to reject TTV Dinakaran’s nomination
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File photo of TTV Dinakaran

Chennai

The plea, moved by P A Joseph of Arumbakkam, who had earlier filed a PIL seeking for a judicial commission of inquiry into the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, sought to declare Sections 8(1) (c) and 8(1) (e) of the Representation of Peoples act 1951 as illegal and unconstitutional in so far as it restricts disqualification only to criminal conviction alone. 

Stating that the disqualification prescribed under the above section enumerates various disqualifications for being chosen as or for being an MP or MLA, the petitioner submitted that the sections states that a person will be disqualified if he or she is convicted under customs Act 1962 and FERA Act 1973. 

He further stated that “The Parliament had no power to restrict the disqualification only to criminal conviction when the very Act holds that both adjudication proceedings and criminal proceedings are parallel.” Referring to various FERA violation cases that are pending adjudication and some of the cases in which the Madras High Court had confirmed penalty of Rs 28 crore against Dinakaran, the petitioner said that the division bench’s finding that Dinakaran is guilty of the charge of contravention of provisions of the acts cannot be simply brushed aside. 

Joseph sought for an interim injunction restraining the Election Commission from in any way accepting the candidature in respect of persons against whom statutory adjudication proceedings under the above special acts were concluded and punishment/ penalty imposed.

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