The Crime Branch has started a probe into the postal ballot controversy pertaining to Kerala Police Association (KPA). The probe was initiated after Chief Electoral Officer of the state ordered the Kerala Police chief to submit a detailed report regarding the controversy by May 15.
The Crime Branch will reportedly probe whether any officers cast the postal vote of fellow officers who were on poll duty. CEO Teeka Ram Meena has also specifically asked to determine to what extent the Kerala Police Association was involved in the foul play.
According to reports, a preliminary probe by Special Branch had found the involvement of the KPA in the postal ballot votes of Kerala police officials who were deployed for election duty. CEO had approved the report on Thursday and has ordered for detailed probe.
Meanwhile, the CEO has also ordered an investigation into the complaints raised by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala regarding the issue. The investigating team will also probe whether there were any shortcomings on the part of district nodal officers of Kerala police in following the direction of DGP’s circular which discussed ballot votes.
The controversy started after an audio clip was leaked. According to reports, the audio of a former KPA office bearer urging fellow members to collect postal ballots of commandos was circulated widely on a police WhatsApp group.
The CEO has directed to take action against Vyshak, the police official who was in duty at the Padmanabha Swamy temple. Action will be taken against the police official under Kerala government servants conduct rules, 1960 and provisions of Sections 136(1) of The Representation of the People Act, 1951 - (d) (without due authority supplies any ballot paper to any person or receives any ballot paper from any person or is in possession of any ballot paper), (f) (without due authority destroys, takes, opens or otherwise interferes with any ballot box or ballot papers than in use for the purposes of the election) and (g) (fraudulently or without due authority, as the case may be, attempts to do any of the foregoing acts or wilfully aids or abets the doing of any such acts).