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Charges against former min for ‘forging’ voter ID cards

Charges against former min for ‘forging’ voter ID cards
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A Gurgaon court on Monday framed charges against a former Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sukhbir Kataria for his suspected role in a case of alleged forgery of around 32,000 voter ID cards in 2009 Assembly elections.

This is one of the nine cases of irregular voting registered against him from 2009 Assembly elections. This is also the 24th FIR filed at the city police station against the former Gurgaon MLA. The people apart from Kataria who have been charged under this case are — Arvindra, Sovindra, Kavita, Jai Prakash, Suman, Narender Kadiyan, Sukhbir Singh who are the fake ID holders among thousands others and two other booth-level officers.

The fake ID card case came to light after an RTI reply revealed that an address used on a voter ID card was actually a vacant plot without a registry.

Ashok Mann, the judicial magistrate of the mini secretariat court (1st class) charged Kataria and eight other people under this case. Kataria was an independent legislator from Gurgaon when he won the 2009 Assembly elections by forging votes.

On the directions of Punjab and Haryana high courts, the court in Gurgaon had started proceeding against the minister and eight other accused in the bogus voter ID cards case taken up by an NGO. 

Kataria and others have been booked under Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).

According to the information received, there are 51 petitions filed in the district court of Gurgaon against Sukhbir Kataria. A petition filed in the regard of forged ID cards was filed on November 23, 2012, alleging the minister of using forged documents to obtain thousands of voter ID cards from different booths in the Gurgaon constituency.

“The NGO had moved to court alleging that eight people, including the Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Minister and a retired food and civil supplies official, DS Kadyan, were involved in voter ID cards’ forgery. According to the counsel for the NGO, Kadyan had allegedly helped the five other accused to prepare forged documents,” said Om Prakash Kataria, the general secretary of the NGO.

Despite the case falling under Section 31 of the Representation of People Act 1950, which involves imprisonment, it is strange that the Gurgaon Police are silent about the whole affair in which the minister is accused and booked for being a mastermind of the forgery case, the complainant added. 

Reports have confirmed that the minister won the Badshahpur Assembly seat by a mere margin of 2,138 votes in 2009 as an independent candidate. Acting on the petition filed against him, the district court, under Section 156(3) of the CrPC, quashed over 32,000 fake votes.
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