Millennium Post

RK Nagar by-poll: Madras HC allows DMK candidate's plea for CBI probe

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday allowed a petition filed by DMK candidate Marudu Ganesh seeking a CBI probe into the alleged bribery of voters leading to cancellation of the R K Nagar by-election in April 2017.

A bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha allowed the prayer to implead CBI as party respondent to the proceedings and issued notice to the agency returnable by February 11.

Ganesh and others had originally moved the court seeking registration of FIR against those accused of bribery in the bypoll to the assembly segment, which was cancelled a week before it was to be held, following I-T raids at various places.

Searches were carried out at several places including at those related to Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, on April 7, 2017.

During the searches, various documents were seized in different places allegedly containing information on distribution of money to voters in the constituency.

Based on a complaint by the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), an FIR was registered. However, it was quashed by a single judge bench of the high court later.

After that Marudu Ganesh (who lost the poll), moved the miscellaneous petition seeking CBI probe into the alleged bribery of voters in the constituency.

In the previous hearing on December 16 last year, the EC informed the court that it has directed the CEO to file a fresh complaint.

The petitioner has stated in the amendment petition that the plea was to take action against the people whose names were mentioned in the Election Commission report based on which the CEO lodged the police complaint.

"All is not well. Now what is the status? whether they have filed a fresh compliant or not. So we request you (judges) to transfer the investigation to CBI," he said.

The by-election to RK Nagar constituency here was necessitated following the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

Elections subsequently held in December 2017 saw independent candidate and AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran win the polls.

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