RS polls: CBI raids premises of 3 MLAs

RS polls: CBI raids premises of 3 MLAs

Industrialist, Cong, BJP and RJD come under scanner

The CBI on Saturday raided the premises of three MLAs and an industrialist in connection with the cancelled March 30 Rajya Sabha poll, saying it wanted to examine the ballot papers to know the voters’ choice of candidates following allegations of corruption and horse-trading.

There is a mechanism in Rajya Sabha election by which the choice of a particular MLA can be known. The CBI teams swooped down on the premises of MLAs K N Tripathi (Congress) at Palamau, Suresh Paswan (RJD) at Deogarh and Vishnu Bhaiyya (BJP) at Jamtara, besides their houses here, a senior CBI official said here.

The sleuths also conducted raids at the residences of industrialist R K Agarwal, president of the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce, and his son-in-law Soumitra Saha in Jamshedpur and another of his relative R K Saha in Chaibasa, the official said. The March 30 election was countermanded following allegations that certain candidates were trying to reach the Upper House through horse-trading.

The CBI on Thursday lodged an FIR after obtaining the original FIR registered with the Namkum police station following the recovery of Rs 2.15 crore from a vehicle before start of polling on March 30.

The cash was seized from the vehicle registered in the name of Agarwal’s brother, Suresh, according to the FIR.

CBI sources said a case has been registered under section 171F and 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 171F deals with “undue influence or personation” at an election with a maximum punishment of one year or fine or both while Sec 188 deals with punishment of six months imprisonment, or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both for disobeying orders of an authority.

Meanwhile, the CBI would also seek to examine the ballot papers used on that day. “We will seek permission from the Election Commission to allow us take the sealed ballot box to know the MLAs’ choice of candidates. Otherwise, it would be difficult to nail any accused,” the CBI official said.

According to sources, though the name of an MLA is not mentioned in the ballot paper during RS polls, it has a hidden number which can be matched with its counterfoil number given in the name of an MLA before voting. When the number of an used ballot paper is revealed by scratching a layer hiding it, and it is matched with that of the counterfoil, an MLA’s choice of candidate becomes known.

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