Income tax department to monitor money during poll
March, 04th 2011
The Election Commission has roped in the income tax department to monitor the money flow during the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. The I-T investigation department has formed teams in each district and started monitoring the activities of political parties.
The department on Thursday also set up a toll-free number to receive complaints. According to a senior official in the investigation department: "Following a request from the Election Commission to the Central Board of Direct Taxes, the I-T has appointed teams headed by an inspector. Surveillance of big functions including marriages and other ceremonies in small towns, cities and villages is also being done."
According to the official, teams will also be posted in bus stands, railway stations, airports and hotels. He said that the I-T department is being involved across the nation.
After its success in the Bihar elections, the EC had decided to rope in the I-T department to curtail money power in Tamil Nadu elections.
Asked about the manpower for the elections, the official said personnel from other departments would be involved as in the case of large raids undertaken by the department.
About the freebies being distributed by the parties on the eve of polling or before that, the official said based on reports from the teams or on complaints received by the department, action would be taken in coordination with the police and other district officials. Though the I-T department will intervene only if the amount is huge and the source is not known, complaints received by it would be passed on to the authorities concerned, apart from informing the Election Commission.
The official said the department had not fixed any limit for people to carry cash but if the amount was large then the person would be questioned about the source of the money.
"So far, no complaints have been received but we do anticipate complaints as the polling date nears," he said. The toll-free number that the department has set up to receive complaints is 1800-4256669. Complaints can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 044-28240064.