The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Election Commission of India to file its reply by December 18 on a plea by defeated DMK candidate Maruthu Ganesh seeking access to some documents on the RK Nagar bypoll submitted to the court in a sealed cover.
The matter relates to searches and seizure of documents by the Income Tax department at various places on April 7, 2017 in connection with bribing of voters, which led to the cancellation of the polls then.
On a direction by the Election Commission,the returning officer of the constituency lodged a police complaint on April 27, based on which an FIR was registered.
A batch of cases, including by advocate MP Vairakannan and Maruthu Ganesh, were filed seeking CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the constituency.
Marudu Ganesh contended that the authorities had filed before a bench several documents including the ECIs communication to the Director General of Income tax, and these were kept in sealed cover.
The petitioners should be allowed to have access to the documents furnished by the authorities in order to ensure a fair hearing, it was submitted.
The petitioner claimed that there were prima facie materials to prove the collusion of officials of Prosecution, ECI and the investigating agency.
There has been an absolute subversion of justice by the authorities due to the fraud committed on the court and securing an order of quashing the FIR..Therefore to unearth the truth, petitioners should have access to the documents that have been kept in sealed cover," it was submitted
When the matter came up, a division bench of Justices M Sathyanaryanan and Nirmal Kumar directed ECI counsel Niranjan Rajagopalan to file a reply and posted the matter for further hearing to December 18.
In September this year, the state government had informed the High Court that it would not go on appeal against the order of a single judge quashing an FIR related to alleged electoral malpractices committed during the by-election to the RK Nagar constituency here in April 2017.
Recording the submission, the court had reserved its order on the pleas moved by Maruthu Ganesh and Vairakkannan seeking transfer of the probe to an independent agency.
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