'EC not empowered to suspend ZP member'

The DC had asked the Election Commissioner to suspend membership of ZP member for submitting false caste certificate.

The State Election Commission has written a letter to Kodagu district administration that the commission is not empowered to suspend the membership of Zilla Panchayat member who had filed a false caste certificate in the affidavit filed during election. The Madikeri AC court had annuled ZP member’s caste certificate. Questioning the caste certificate produced by Rajarao, Meda/Gauriga Kshemabhivridi Sangha President K J Dundappa had approached the court and had urged to suspend the membership of Rajarao. Dundappa through the DC had written to the Election Commission to suspend the membership. 

Bhagamandala constituency was reserved for ST during ZP election in 2010. The BJP had fielded Rajarao. During the election, Rajarao had submitted a caste certificate stating that he belongs to Marata community in Kodagu. Objecting to the caste certificate, Dundappa had claimed that Marata community comes under ST in Kodagu.

 Maharashtra Kshatriya community comes under 3B category. Inspite of belonging to Maharashtra Kshatriya community, Rajarao had submitted a false caste certificate. Demanding the suspension of the membership, the DC had submitted a complaint to the State Election Commission and Social Welfare Minister on May 26.

 In fact, Dundappa had filed a writ in the High Court and the court in turn had directed the Civil Rights Enforcement Directorate Additional Director General of Police to probe into the issue. Based on the report, the court had directed the committe under Deputy Commissioner to look into the issue. Following the direction, Mysore ADGP had visited the district and submitted a report on May 17. 

Replying to the complaint, Under Secretary in State Election Commission has said that it has no power to suspend the membership for filing false certificate. The applications should be submitted to the Authority concerned and solve the issue. However, the letter did not tell as to how, the issue can be solved. 

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