Rs 11.36 crore seized by cops ahead of Maharashtra polls

Since the election announcement last month, the state police have been conducting checks and organising nakabandis across the state to seize unaccounted-for cash

With the state Assembly polls just six days away, money seems to be flowing across the state, as evidenced by the whopping Rs 11.36 crore seized by the state police till yesterday.

With the announcement of the election on September 12, the state police and Election Commission of India (ECI) swung into action, and began to conduct checks and nakabandis to confiscate any illegal or unaccounted-for funds.

The state police jumped into action as soon as the election dates were announced, and have seized Rs 11.36 crore in illegal cash holdings since then. Pic for representation/Thinkstock
The state police jumped into action as soon as the election dates were announced, and have seized Rs 11.36 crore in illegal cash holdings since then. Pic for representation/Thinkstock

It may be recalled that during the Lok Sabha polls held in April this year, Rs 39 crore was seized from different places in the state. The recent seizures took place in less than a month, between mid-September and October 9. The cash is currently in the state police’s custody, and officials from the election department have been informed about it.

Verification of the seized amount is underway by the Income Tax (I-T) department, Special Inspector General (law & order) Deven Bharti told mid-day. The biggest haul was made at Indapur in Pune district, where as much as R5 crore was seized. Verification of the amount is under way.

Ajit Pawar on the radar
The seizures assumed serious proportions after a vehicle was intercepted in Parbhani district on Wednesday, and was found containing R4.85 lakh in cash. While R4 lakh was found in bags belonging to former deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, Rs 85,000 was recovered from his personal assistant.

Pawar claimed the money was part of the party’s funds and had been given to him for travel and other expenses, as he is the NCP’s star campaigner. At Khed toll naka in Pune district, Rs 20.48 lakh was seized from a vehicle belonging to BJP candidate Jaisingh Erande, the local authorities said.

The procedure
According to procedure, after seizing the cash, police officials inform election department authorities, as well as the special observers appointed by the ECI. After preliminary verification, the I-T department authorities are informed for further verification, said Bharti. Officials from the election department added that the I-T department then checks the source of the money and the validity of the transactions between the concerned parties.

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