EC for CBI inquiry, court verdict a success: Quraishi

CEC SY Quraishi on Thursday hailed Jharkhand High Court decision to dismiss a plea challenging countermanding of Rajya Sabha polls there.

New Delhi: Chief Election Commission SY Quraishi on Thursday hailed Jharkhand High Court decision to dismiss a plea challenging countermanding of Rajya Sabha polls there, saying it was yet another success against corruption and the poll panel will now seek a CBI inquiry into it.

With the rejection of the petition paving the way for announcement of fresh schedule for elections, Quraishi said a decision to this effect would be taken soon.

"It is a success against corruption. We feel stronger now with the high court decision. We will now seek a CBI probe into the matter," Quraishi told a news agency.

He said, "We are happy that the high court has supported our stand and this is a step which is a great deterrent to the malpractices we were noticing.... Now that we have clearance from the high court, we will request the Home Ministry to ask CBI to conduct an inquiry."

"Jharkhand HC dismissed a PIL too against countermand with 1 lakh cost! Yet another success against corruption! Time to feel good," Quraishi also tweeted on the HC decision.

The Jharkhand High Court while rejecting the petition of Congress RS candidate Pradeep Kumar Balmachu praying for quashing the EC`s decision to countermand Jharkhand RS poll, today directed the Commission to order an inquiry by a specialised agency like the CBI into circumstances leading to the countermanding of the RS poll.

The CEC said that the poll panel had already decided on a CBI inquiry but were waiting for the high court`s verdict.

When asked about the fresh schedule for Rajya Sabha polls in Jharkhand, Quraishi said "the way is now cleared for fresh elections. We will do that soon."

The CEC also reiterated that the Commission will ensure strict vigilance during the poll to see that honest election is conducted.

The EC had countermanded the RS elections following seizure of Rs 2.15 crore from a car on the outskirts of Ranchi by Income Tax sleuths and Ranchi police hours before the start of polling in Jharkhand. The car in which the money was seized allegedly belonged to the brother of industrialist RK Agarwal, an independent candidate for the Jharkhand RS poll.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has, meanwhile, welcomed the court order in this regard and termed it a "good step".

"This is a good step and we welcome it," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said today.


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