Poll panel sends notice to Malhotra, transfers returning officer (Lead)

November 10th, 2008 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) The Election Commission Monday issued notice to V.K. Malhotra, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate for Delhi chief minister, for violating instructions on the number of people and vehicles that accompanied him when he went to file his nomination. The Election Commission of India said in a statement that the notice was issued for “violation of standing instructions regarding maximum number of vehicles permitted within periphery of 100 meters of returning officer and persons inside the chamber while filing his nomination papers”.

The commission also ordered the immediate transfer of Greater Kailash returning officer Bans Raj Ram, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Puspender Kumar and Sub Inspector K.L. Yadav for failure to implement the orders.

They also sought an explanation from Deputy Commissioner Faizi Hashmi and Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) about the incident.

Malhotra, who is contesting from the Greater Kailash constituency and filed his nomination at the returning office in Jamnagar House in Shahjahan Road Saturday, denied the charges.

“I don’t know why it is being done. When I went to the Returning Officer there were only two persons with me — my wife Krishna Malhotra and Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan.

“There were no cars in front or behind my car. I will reply to it (the notice),” Malhotra told reporters.

Malhotra has been asked to send his reply to the Election Commission Tuesday.

The Election Commission has said the maximum number of vehicles allowed to come within the periphery of 100 metres of the returning officer’s chamber is three. The maximum number of persons allowed in at the time of filing nomination is the candidate plus four others.

“The expenditure on vehicles that will be coming along with the candidate at the time of the filing of nominations shall be taken into account for calculating his expenditure if he remains in the fray,” the notice said.

The notice has been served on him following a news report that highlighted the violations.

“Therefore, the Commission has decided to afford V.K. Malhotra an opportunity to furnish an explanation as to why action should not be taken for the said alleged violation of the Commission’s standing policy instructions,” it said.

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