Declining to stop seizure of unaccounted cash by the Election Commission in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court on Monday said it should be carried out even more vigorously as the roll of money in election needs to be checked.
Dismissing a PIL by a merchants association in Salem seeking to stop the seizure of money by the EC, the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, said "the endeavour of the Election Commission to seize cash is to decrease the roll of money in the elections."
"We are thus not inclined to entertain this writ petition seeking some standard form of documents permitting the cash to be carried", the bench said.
The association contended that as and when bulk cash is carried by any business community for purchase of items for business purpose, it is screened by the officials and seized.
"Even the person carrying cash for purchase of jewels, utensils and other items for marriage are not spared by the officials and they are also tortured by government officials.
Even for medical expenses, the officials are not allowing the people to carry money," they submitted.
They contended that though the EC is reiterating that any person, as and when carrying huge amount of money for any purpose during the time of model code of conduct, must carry proper documents, the Commission, however, has not clearly defined what are the documents to be carried, they submitted.
The association stated that till date no concrete rules were framed by the Election Commission for the documents to be carried while cash is carried by the general public.
"Because of strict rules imposed by the Election Commission, only the general public and the business community are worst affected."
The Election Commission should not come to the conclusion that the general public or business community are working for the party cadres and they are carrying cash for distribution purposes.
Stating that the representation made by them did not yield any response, the association prayed to the HC to direct the Election Commission "not to harass the persons while carrying cash for business purpose on production of proper documents.
Dismissing the petition, the Court said "we are informed that the Election commission is videographing the process of seizure of cash and even if there is any specific complaint, a request could be made for release after due verification by the EC acting in those matters.
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