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ECI withdraws observer who raided Rakibul, orders probe

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 March 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Our Bureau

New Delhi/ Guwahati, March 18: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered a departmental inquiry against expenditure observer Raghavendra Singh and has withdrawn him from the Kamrup metro district, two days after he led a team raiding the residence of State minister Rakibul Hussain.

"In the present case, the expenditure observer has transgressed his jurisdiction by reaching at the spot himself and acted against the instructions of the Election Commission. The commission does not authorise any of its observers to carry out any such enforcement activities by himself. The observers on receiving such information are required to pass on the same to enforcement agencies for appropriate actions and continue monitoring the case as laid down in the manual of ECI," the ECI said in a statement.

The Election Commission said it has ascertained that the search and seizure operation at Hussain's residence was conducted independently by the Income Tax department under the provisions of the Income Tax Act on receipt of intelligence from other independent agency. The expenditure observer deployed by the Election Commission had activated the flying squad as a part of follow up action, following the information received from the Income Tax department.

"All observers have been directed to perform their actions within the prescribed framework as laid down by ECI manual," the official communiqué issued by the ECI said.

The State Congress president had lodged a complaint with the Election Commission yesterday, alleging that the officer's action was "illegal" and that he infringed on the persol liberty and privacy of a citizen.

Alleging a political conspiracy, the Congress had said the expenditure observer's presence was detrimental to the interest of free and fair polling.

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