The South Asian Times

21 January 2019 02:52 AM

Poll panel keeping close vigil on unaccounted cash ahead of NE polls


Agartala, Feb 2: Election Commission-appointed surveillance teams will keep a close vigil on the flow of unaccounted cash before the assembly polls in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland, an official said here on Friday.

"Possession or carrying of unaccounted cash in excess of Rs 50,000 is barred as per the election laws. Any unauthorised person found carrying Rs 50,000 and above would be arrested by the security personnel," an Election Commission official said here.

The poll panel in a directive has asked the state election and law enforcing authorities of Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland to adhere to the order.

"Static and mobile surveillance teams would keep a close vigil on the flow of cash before the assembly polls in the three northeastern states. Intelligence wings have also been asked to keep a close watch on the issue," the official added.

"Close surveillance would be maintained and necessary action taken under the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, and in accordance with the instructions issued by the Election Commission on carrying of unaccounted cash."

He said if traders or vendors or officials carry hard cash in excess of Rs 50,000 they should hold valid documents like receipts, official papers or satisfactory documents.

The Income Tax Department officials would also keep vigil at hotels, business houses and farmhouses and collect information regarding any suspicious movement of cash or gifts.

"Upon information received about the availability of a large amount of cash in a business premises or residence, necessary action would be taken with the help of police and executive magistrate under the Income Tax Laws," he added.

Single-phase Assembly polls will be held in Tripura on February 18, and in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27. Counting of votes for all three northeastern states with 60-member Assemblies each, will be done on March 3.

The Election Commission has appointed around 150 general observers, police observers and expenditure observers to oversee the poll process in these three states.

"The Commission has also asked all the three northeastern states and Border Security Forces to further tighten the security along the domestic and international borders," the official added.

Tripura has 856 km international borders with Bangladesh and 109 km and 53 km inter-state borders with Mizoram and and Assam, respectively.

Meghalaya has 443 km frontiers with Bangladesh and Nagaland shares 215 km boundaries with Myanmar. Meghalaya has internal borders with Assam while Nagaland has borders with Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.

Update: 02 Feb, 2018