Madhya Pradesh Looks For Evidence To File Case In Cash-For-Vote Row

The preliminary enquiry was registered by the EOW on Thursday evening. Those named in the report include three IPS officers and a State Police Service (SPS) officer.

Madhya Pradesh Looks For Evidence To File Case In Cash-For-Vote Row

The report hints about role of many in the racket of of unaccounted cash: sources (Representational)

Bhopal:

The Madhya Pradesh Economic Offences Wing has registered a general preliminary enquiry to decide if there is enough evidence to register an FIR following a letter by state government's general administration department (GAD) in connection with the alleged cash in poll row during 2019 Lok Sabha elections which was reportedly unearthed by Income Tax raids in April 2019.

The preliminary enquiry was registered by the EOW on Thursday evening. Those named in the report include three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers and a State Police Service (SPS) officer.

The Election Commission's letter along with the 904-page Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) report was forwarded to the government in the third week of December by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Madhya Pradesh.

The GAD letter, while quoting ECI's instructions to the Chief Electoral Officer of the state, read: "In view of the above, Commission had directed to forward copy of the report of CBDT dated October 28, 2020, along with an extract of list of government servants involved, to lodge criminal action before designated authority, e.g. Economic Offences Wing, state of Madhya Pradesh against concerned for violation as per extant electoral and other relevant laws. In case of need for further information in this regard the same may be further sought from CBDT."

According to informed sources, the CBDT report not only contains names of three IPS officers and an SPS officer, but over 60 others, including some former and present MLAs, many of whom had switched their political loyalties in March 2020.

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The names of the four police officers and politicians were found in documents seized during income tax searches in April 2019 at the premises of close aides and associates of then chief minister Kamal Nath in Bhopal, Indore, Goa and Delhi-NCR.

As per sources, "The CBDT report (based on findings of the April 2019 IT department raids), hints about the role of several individuals in the widespread and organised racket of collection and transaction of unaccounted cash totalling around Rs 281 crore during the last Lok Sabha polls."

The Election Commission has summoned Madhya Pradesh's chief secretary Iqbal Singh Bais and additional chief secretary (ACS-Home) Rajesh Rajora with the action taken report in the matter on January 5, 2021.