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3 weeks ago

EC suspends official over ‘casual checking’ of DMK candidate A Raja’s car

The Election Commission Saturday ordered the suspension of an official leading a flying squad in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district for failing to check the vehicle of DMK candidate A Raja thoroughly, according to EC sources.

The action came after media reports of the flying squad checking the vehicle that was carrying several suitcases at an inter-state check-post near Coonoor, Kerala showed a “casual attitude”, as per an EC source. Taking into account media reports and a subsequent inquiry by the Nilgiris Returning Officer and Expenditure Observer, the head of the team, Geetha, was suspended and the entire team replaced.

As per EC instructions, candidates’ vehicles are to be checked if cash of more than `50,000 or gifts worth `10,000 and above are found, they are to be seized. According to EC sources, the Expenditure Observer deployed by the poll panel visited the spot and viewed the two videos recorded by the flying squad. The flying squad’s own videos and the media reports showed superficial checking and the other cars in the cavalcade were not checked at all, the poll panel source said.

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