EC issues letters to RBI, TMC for drafts worth Rs 1.33 crore

The Election Commission has asked the RBI to inquire into the conduct of Allahabad Bank and United Bank of India which made drafts of Rs 1.33 crore for TMC in poll-bound West Bengal.

Last Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 18:03 PM IST

New Delhi: The Election Commission has asked
the RBI to inquire into the conduct of Allahabad Bank and
United Bank of India which made drafts of Rs 1.33 crore for
Trinamool Congress in poll-bound West Bengal, allegedly
violating its guidelines on election expenditure.

The EC has also issued a letter to the political party
asking it to explain the "circumstances under which the pay
orders got issued by deposit of cash, in violation of RBI
guidelines without routing it through the bank account and the
Commission`s instructions on the subject (election
expenditure)."

"It has been reported that your party (TMC) has got
issued pay orders aggregating to Rs 1.23 crore by the United
Bank of India on March 23, 2011 in favour of Ms Visual Audio
and draft of Rs 10 lakh by Allahabad Bank on April 24, 20011
in favour of M Power Global Access India Private Limited by
deposit of cash.
"It may be mentioned here that the Commission in its
all party meeting (at its headquarters in the national
capital) and through various instructions has advised all the
parties to avoid transactions in cash during election
process," the EC said in its letter today to TMC President and
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The EC`s action came after an Income Tax investigation
report was received by it recently in the case.

The EC has asked the Chief Electoral Officer of West
Bengal to "immediately" serve the letters to TMC and both the
banks and send the reports back to the Commission.
The EC, while issuing separate letters to both the
Banks-- Allahabad Bank branch at 2, N S road in Kolkata and
United Bank of India at 1, Hemanta Basu Saran at Kolkata-- to
"explain the circumstances under which such drafts were made."

"The Reserve Bank of India guidelines of 2009
categorically prohibit any remittance of funds by way of
demand draft or telegraphic transfer or any other mode for
value of Rs 50000 and above against cash payment.

"Besides, the EC is concerned about cash transactions
during the election campaign as such transactions vitiates the
election process," the EC wrote to both the banks.

The EC activated an Election Expenditure Monitoring (EEM)
cell in its establishment last year to keep a check on poll
funding and use of illegal money power at the hustings.

PTI