BJP’s Tamilisai files case against DMK’s Kanimozhi, seeks to declare her election void

Kanimozhi and Tamilisai contested in Thoothukudi in the general elections in which the former won by a large margin.
BJP’s Tamilisai files case against DMK’s Kanimozhi, seeks to declare her election void
BJP’s Tamilisai files case against DMK’s Kanimozhi, seeks to declare her election void
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BJP State President Tamilisai Soundarajan filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking to declare void the election of Kanimozhi as the Member of Parliament from Thoothukudi. She sought the court’s intervention, pointing out alleged discrepancies in Kanimozhi’s nomination affidavits.

The petition filed in the Madras High Court on Monday alleged that all four nominations filed by DMK’s Kanimozhi had substantial defects and hence she sought the court to declare her election as an MP void. The petition says there are discrepancies on three counts in the electoral affidavits filed by Kanimozhi.

A voter in two constituencies

She alleged that while Kanimozhi had stated that her name is enrolled as a voter in Chepauk- Triplicane legislative assembly constituency in one part of the affidavit, it has been misstated as Thoothukudi in the latter part of the same affidavit. The petition also claimed that since this was a defective, incomplete and improper nomination, the District collector, who was also the District Electoral Officer should have rejected the nomination.

Suppression of income details of husband and son

Another issue that has been mentioned in Tamilisai’s petition is Kanimozhi’s declaration that her husband Aravindhan and son Adithyan do not possess Permanent Account Number (PAN) in India and the incomes earned by them in the last five years have been declared as ‘Not Applicable’. Tamilisai’s contention was that Kanimozhi should have mentioned the National Registration Identity Card numbers of both of them and should have mentioned details about the income details of the duo as per their documents filed in Singapore.

“The Petitioner (Tamilisai) submits that by wilfully failing to submit information with regard to the tax status of her husband and son in Singapore and the income received by them, the First Respondent (Kanimozhi) has filed a false affidavit which materially affects the result of the election and consequently the failure of the returning officer in accepting the nomination of the First Respondent is improper and he ought to have rejected the same,” the petition stated.

The petition also points to the fact that as per the affidavit, Adithyan has invested substantial amount of money in banks in India and Singapore.

“In such circumstances it is inconceivable that the said Aravindhan does not have a PAN number or has not filed income tax returns in India. In such circumstances, there is deliberate suppression of information by the First Respondent with regard to the PAN number as well as the status of income tax returns of Mr. Adithyan,” the petition read.

Cash for votes

The third accusation levelled against Kanimozhi is that on March 25, Kanimozhi and Anitha Radhakrishnan, the DMK MLA from Tiruchendur visited Umarikadu village for campaigning and many women were given money for taking ‘aarathi’ for Kanimozhi. This was telecast in news channels and consequently an FIR was registered against Anitha Radhakrishnan, Kanimozhi and six others for illegal payments in connection with an election.

However, the video that went viral showing the MLA distributing cash to women performing aarathi had been doing the rounds on social media much before the polls were notified and hence would fall outside the scope of Model Code of Conduct. The Election Commission of India had taken cognizance of the matter back then and was conducting inquiries into the matter.

When TNM reached out to Kanimozhi's counsel P Wilson (who has also been nominated to the Rajya Sabha), he said, "We have read the petition and will face the case legally."

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