Chennai: Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday raided the premises of a DMK functionary and two others in connection with the 2019 cash for votes case that led to rescinding of polls to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat.
A team of CBI, after registering a FIR against three people, searched the residence of senior DMK functionary ‘Poonjolai’ Srinivasan at Pallikuppam in Katpadi, and also questioned him regarding the cash for votes case.
As allegations of cash for votes surfaced, the Election Commission has rescinded the elections in which senior DMK leader, now general secretary, Duraimurugan’s son Kathir Anand was in the fray.
He later won after the elections were held and became an MP defeating the ruling AIADMK-backed New Justice Party nominee A C Shanmugam by a margin of littele over 8,000 votes.
As the news spread about CBI raids, scores of DMK cadres thronged the residence of Srinivasan, who was said to be very close to Mr Duraimurugan and his son.
The officials also raided the house of Srinivasan’s brother-in-law Damodaran and that of Canara Bank manager M Dayanidhi.
The CBI’s action comes in the backdrop of Kathir Anand, with Parliament in session, lodging a complaint with Chanakyapuri police station in New Delhi alleging that two persons claiming to be from Intelligence Bureau barged into his room in Tamilnadu House and questioned him in an intimidating manner on the issues he proposed to raise in the House.
Kathir also broached the the issue on the floor of the Lok Sabha. It may be recalled that barely few days before the polling and the campaign at a feverish pitch in the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, Income Tax (IT) officials raided the residence of Duraimurugan and seized unaccounted cash to the tune of Rs 10 lakh.
It followed raids in the houses of Srinivasan and his close relative Damodaran during which Rs 11.48 crore unaccounted cash kept in small bundles with ward numbers marked against them and allegedly meant for distributing to the voters, were seized. Subsequently, the Election Commission rescinded the polls citing ‘vitiated situation’.
In its First Information Report (FIR), the CBI said Dayanidhi by dishonestly performing and inducing another public servant for an undue advantage and falsification of accounts provided Srinivasan and Damodaran newly printed currency bundles of Rs 200 denomination.
The CBI said Dayanidhi, being a public servant, abused his official position by violating the laid down bank rules and in criminal conspiracy with the other accused, has committed an act of criminal misconduct by extending undue favours to Damodaran and Srinivasan.
The acts of Dayanidhi, Srinviasan and Damodharan–cited as the first, second and third accused respectively in the FIR–and other unknown public servants and private persons, prima facie disclosed the commission of cognizable offences punishable under Sections 120-B read with 420 and 477-A of IPC and Sec 7(c) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (as amended in 2018).