Cops break into seized car with Rs 50L cash after election officer loses keys

Oct 11, 2014, 05:47 IST | Shirish Vaktania

The vehicle, being used by BJP workers, had been caught in Borivli ferrying Rs 50 lakh in cash; since the election officer who seized it lost its keys, police had to force open the door to get hold of the cash

It was a strange day for Borivli police, who had to pry open the door of a car like thieves in order to take possession of the cash inside the vehicle that had been caught the previous day during a nakabandi for the upcoming polls.

The vehicle belongs to corporator Manisha Chaudhury, who is BJP’s candidate from Dahisar constituency
The vehicle belongs to corporator Manisha Chaudhury, who is BJP’s candidate from Dahisar constituency

They had to do this because the election officer who had intercepted the vehicle being driven by BJP workers managed to lose the keys. On Thursday evening, a Mahindra XUV carrying R50 lakh in cash was going from Dadar to Borivli. At 6.45 pm at Phadke Bridge, election officer Ravindra Sadansingh (52) and his team intercepted the car.

They took hold of the vehicle and registered a complaint with the Borivli police against BJP’s Dahisar candidate Manisha Chaudhury and two party workers, Chandrakant Pandey and Sasikant Kadam.

According to the police, the money was being transported for party work. The vehicle belongs to Chaudhury, who is a corporator. However, Sadansingh had failed to count the cash or hand over the keys of the vehicle to the police, as is required of him. He later claimed he lost them.

Due to this, Rs 50 lakh in cash lay in the car for one whole day. Nobody bothered to touch the car or make duplicate keys to open it. At 5 pm yesterday, police forced open the door of the vehicle with the help of a ruler. The election cell team recorded the incident on camera, for it to serve as video evidence that nothing was tampered with.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XI) Balsingh Rajput said, “The election officer lost the car keys after he took possession of the car. They didn’t hand over the car keys and cash to the police department, as is necessary. This is a matter pertaining to the election cell team and not the police. We did our job.”

The complaint was registered against the trio under Section 171B (bribery with the object of inducing person to exercise electoral right) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 123 (corrupt practices) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Despite repeated attempts, Chaudhury remained unavailable for comment.

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