LS polls in Vellore cancelled after cash seizure; I-T searches Kanimozhi's house
17 April 2019
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has cancelled the election to the Vellore parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu after unaccounted cash of over Rs11.48 crore was unearthed during an income tax raid at a DMK leader's house.
As per the EC, the Income Tax Department conducted raids at the residence of Durai Murugan, MLA and Treasurer of DMK Party, and his son Kathir Anand, who is contesting from Vellore parliamentary constituency, on 31 March. I-T sleuths had also conducted searches at Kingston Medical College, which is run by the Durai Murugan Educational Trust.
The EC action comes after a police complaint against Anand and two DMK functionaries on the basis of I-T raids on 20 April.
The Income Tax Department, along with Election Commission's static surveillance team, also carried out a joint search at the Thoothukudi residence of DMK leader K Kanimozhi on Tuesday, just two days ahead of the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu.
I-T officials entered her Kuringi Nagar residence in Tuticorin, a few hours after the campaign for the 18 April elections came to an end in Tamil Nadu.
Nearly 10 officials from income tax department and flying and static squads of the Election Commission carried out the searches on Tuesday evening, based on information that cash was stored there, an I-T official said.
However, sources said that the department did not find anything at her house.
"On the information shared by local administration, Income Tax Department searched premises related to DMK's Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi. Verification is on. Kanimozhi was there and she cooperated with the team. The department found nothing," reported news agency ANI quoting sources.
"We received information from Tuticorin collector that the upper portion of the residence is being used for storing cash. Based on the information from the collector, we entered the residence along with two squads. We are only checking whether any money is being stored there," a senior income-tax investigation official had said.
However, I-T officials have seized cash from the premises that housed the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam party offices in Andipatti, Theni, today.
Reports said, the Income Tax Department seized unaccounted cash packed in envelopes meant to be distributed to voters in Theni where a bi-election is scheduled for tomorrow (18 April).
According to the taxmen, the cash was neatly packed in 94 packets/envelopes on which the ward number, number of voters and the amount at ?300 per voter was written. All the wards mentioned are within the Andipatti Assembly segment, which will go to the polls on 18 April.
The premises belonged to a functionary of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) party. In addition, the AMMK party office was found functioning on the ground floor.
A postal ballot paper for Andipatti assembly by-election, already marked for the AMMK candidate, was also found in the premises and was seized during the raid in Andipatti on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.