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R.K Nagar Election Cancelled :

A vacancy arose in the Legislative Assembly of the state of Tamil Nadu with effect from the 5th December, 2016, due to demise of the member of the house,

Related : CEO Tamilnadu R.K Nagar Bye Election April 12th 2017 :

Ms. J. Jayalalithaa elected from 11-Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency and in order to fill the said vacancy, the Election Commission of India, vide its Notification No. 100/TN-LA/1/2017 dated 16th March, 2017, in pursuance of Section 150 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (R.P.Act), called upon said Assembly Constituency in the State of Tamil Nadu to elect a member.

Under Sections 30 and 56 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Commission fixed different dates for various stages of elections and hours of poll, as under :-

(a) the 23rd March, 2017(Thursday), as the last date for making nominations;
(b) the 24th March, 2017(Friday), as the date for the scrutiny of nominations;

(c) the 27th March, 2017(Monday),as the last date for the withdrawal of candidatures;
(d) the 12th April, 2017(Wednesday),as the date on which a poll shall, if necessary, be taken; and
(e) the 17th April, 2017(Monday), as the date before which the election shall be completed.

Preliminary results of Income Tax search and seizure action :
i. Cash of Rs. 5 crores was seized from the confidantes of Dr C. Vijaya baskar and from his native place.

ii. Incriminating documents in the form of overall money distribution chart to several leading political executives and functionaries totaling to Rs. 89 Crores were found from the premises of Dr C. Vijaya Baskar.

iii. Further distribution charts, ward-wise and voter-wise, entrusted to each of these politician totaling to Rs. 89 crores were found and seized from the room allotted to Dr. Vijaya Baskar in the MLAs’ hostel.

iv. Further, a lot of incriminating material including voters list marking against each voter either DMK or AIADMK and amount to be paid and paid in some cases, were also found and seized.

** In the Commission’s considered opinion, allowing the current electoral process to proceed and conduct the poll in the constituency on 12th April, 2016, as scheduled, in such vitiated atmosphere would severely jeopardize the conduct of free and fair election in the said 11-Dr.Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency.

Earlier also, in similar circumstances, the Commission was constrained to rescind the elections from 134-Aravakurichi and 174-Thanjavur Assembly Constituencies, in Tamil Nadu at the general election to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in May, 2016.

Prior to that, the biennial election to the Council of States by members of the Jharkhand legislative assembly in March 2012 was rescinded on the complaints received by the Commission that certain candidates were indulging in bribery of voters.

A huge amount of about Rs. 2 crores was seized by the enforcement agencies on the day of poll which was suspected to be used for bribery in that election.

The Jharkhand High Court, before which the matter was agitated in Jay Shankar Pathak and Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu v Election Commission of India [AIR 2012 (JHAR) 58], not only upheld the decision of the Election Commission but also hailed it as a necessary step to ensure conduct of free and fair elections.

** Before parting with the case, the Commission cannot help expressing its anguish over the sordid state of affairs as revealed in the reports of the Election Expenditure Observers, Election Expenditure Monitoring Teams, i.e., Static Surveillance Teams, Flying Squad Teams, Video Surveillance Teams, as well as the reports of the Income Tax Authorities.

The innovative ways which the political parties and their leaders at the top echelons have devised to bypass the law enforcing authorities entrusted with the task of keeping an eye on the unauthorized and illegal expenses incurred in the conduct of election campaigns of their party candidates need to be dealt with heavy hand.

Some of the States have particularly excelled in innovating more and more subtle ways to circumvent the statutory provisions enacted by Parliament to curb the menace of money power in elections.

The top leaderships of the parties cannot feign ignorance about such illegal activities being indulged in by the candidates set by their parties, and also the managers appointed by their parties to oversee the election campaigns of their candidates.

If not their express consent, their tacit approval to the resort to such undesirable activities on the part of their candidates and electoral managers cannot be wished away.

It is high time that they exert their moral influence and legal authority to reign in their erring candidates and electoral managers without loss of time, if democracy is to flourish and deepen its roots in our country.

** Accordingly, the Commission hereby directs, under Article 324 of the Constitution read with sections 150, 30 and 56 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and further read with Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 and all other powers enabling it in this behalf, that the Commission’s Notification 100/TN-LA/1/2017, dated 16th March 2017, calling upon the said 11-Dr.Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency to elect a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly shall stand rescinded forthwith.

Consequently, all actions and steps taken by the Returning Officer of the said 11-Dr.Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency, District Election Officer, Chennai District and all other electoral authorities concerned are hereby declared as null and void.

** The bye-election to fill the above vacancy in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 11-Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency shall be held by the Commission in due course when the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items to allure the electors, as mentioned above, gets removed with the passage of time and the atmosphere in the constituency becomes conducive to the holding of free and fair election.

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