Court summons Haryana minister on charges of poll fraudFebruary 10th, 2012 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS
Gurgaon, Feb 10 (IANS) A district court here has summoned Haryana’s Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Subhash Kataria and some of his relatives on charges of playing fraud in the 2009 assembly elections, a petitioner said Friday. The minister, however, said he was yet to get any summons.
Rights group Matdata Jagrookta Manch (MJM) had moved the district court alleging that Kataria and his close family members had cast thousands of forged votes in the Oct 13, 2009, elections to the state assembly.
Accusing the minister, his brother-in-law Devender Rana, who is also an assistant advocate general, and 17 others, the MJM had, in its Jan 4 petition had urged the court of Judicial Magistrate Kavita Kamboj to frame charges against the accused on the basis of evidence it had collected.
“We had made several complaints to officials concerned, including police, but no one paid attention to our words. We have also filed a separate election petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the election, but that doesn’t cover the criminal charges, so we moved the district court,” said MJM member Umesh Aggarwal.
Agarwal had contested the election as a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate against Kataria, who joined the fray as an Independent after rebelling from his Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).
According to the MJM, it found through a Right to Information (RTI) plea that Kataria and the others were involved in preparing fake ration cards. Identity proof forms of many people were filled up by a single person, whose hand writing specimens matched with those of Kataria.
The district court after hearing the petition and examining the evidence, framed charges against 18 of the accused. “Accused no. 1 to 17 to be summoned for offences of criminal conspiracy, impersonation, cheating, and forgery. Accused No.18 (Kataria) be summoned for criminal conspiracy, forgery and (under) section 31 of Representation of Peoples Act 1950,” it said.
The court found nothing against accused No.19 (a police officer), so it did not summon him.
Kataria, who supported the Congress party which was short of a majority in the assembly, was made a minister. He refused to comment on the case.
“I didn’t get any summons. I don’t have to say anything,” Kataria told IANS.
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Tags: advocate general, assembly elections, court summons, criminal charges, criminal conspiracy, devender, election petition, forgery, hand writing, impersonation, judicial magistrate, kamboj, kataria, minister of state, mjm, punjab and haryana high court, ration cards, section 31, state assembly, youth affairs