Bangalore: The Election Commission (EC), which seized lakhs of rupees in the run-up to the elections, shared details of seizures of cash over Rs 10 lakh with the Income Tax (I-T) department, to probe the matter under the ambit of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, Anil Kumar Jha, said: “There will anyway be a criminal case filed in connection with the seizures, but for seizures above Rs 10 lakh, it will also be probed by the I-T department.” According to documents in possession of Deccan Herald, there are 22 cases where the Election Commission seized Rs 10 lakh or more amounting to a total of Rs 18.85 crore.
The largest such seizures are Rs 2.65 crore from A Krishnappa’s house in KR Puram, JD(S) candidate from Hiriyur, and Rs 1.1 crore from astrologer Chandrashekar Swami. The next is Rs 60 lakh of unauthorised cash seized in Hiriyur, following which FIRs against two persons have been lodged.
Besides, Rs 42.5 lakh in cash was seized in a house in Jnanabharathi, Bangalore, and Rs 37.75 lakh in JP Nagar, in connection with which a person has been arrested. The nature of the investigation into the criminal cases, sources said, will involve tracing the money trail, verifying involvement of politicians or officials or other sources.
I-T department sources said the probe by their personnel will look into the source of the money, whether or not it is legitimate and if there are any other violations under the provisions of the Act. Similarly, the EC has seized saris, cookers and bicycles, worth Rs 6.19 crore. “About 90 sarees valued at Rs one lakh were seized in Raichur, while more than 30 cookers, 500 tender coconuts and 20 bicycles were seized in Chitradurga and Bommanahalli, respectively,” a source said.
Another source said that 83,360 litres of liquor worth Rs 5.75 crore was seized from Kathladapura, Davangere, Shimoga and Gadag.
Overall, a total of 2,392 cases of poll code violations have been booked, including 70 cases under the Karnataka Prevention of Disfigurement Act, 219 cases of misuse of vehicle by political parties/candidates, 73 for taking out rallies without permission, 825 cases of distribution of liquor, and 958 cases for other offences.
A total of 758 FIRs have been lodged at various police stations across the State.