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Prima facie, liquor served at Jagir Kaur’s poll meet: EC

March 19, 2019 06:37 AM

courtesy HT MARCH 19

gurpreet Singh Nibber ■
Prima facie, liquor served at Jagir Kaur’s poll meet: EC
EVIDENCE The EC has served notices on the basis of a video run by some news channels
CHANDIGARH : The chief electoral officer (CEO), Punjab, has prima facie found that liquor was served at a poll meeting organised by Akali Dal’s Khadoor Sahib candidate Bibi Jagir Kaur at a village in Tarn Taran on March 13, in violation of the poll code.

■ A video grab showing liquor being served purportedly during the Akali Dal poll meet in Tarn Taran on March 13.
On Wednesday last week, SAD organised a poll meeting in Dehra Sahib village where Gurinder Singh Tony, the nephew of Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, joined the party. Senior party leaders, including Jagir Kaur and Bikram Singh Majithia, were present at the event where liquor was allegedly served. SAD (Taksali) leader Brahmpura had submitted the complaint to the CEO in this regard.

“We have started action on the basis of a video showing liquor being served at the meeting, which prima facie proves the violation,” said an officer of the rank of additional chief electoral officer (CEO) Punjab on request of anonymity.

Punjab CEO S Karuna Raju said, “Yes, action has been initiated. We have served them a show-cause notice,” adding that the evidence was strong and the footage was aired by some news channels.

Bibi Jagir Kaur reportedly has already filed a reply to the district electoral officer-cumdeputy commissioner Tarn Taran Pardeep Sabharwal, denying the allegation. Sabharwal is examining her reply and is expected to take a decision on the issue on Tuesday.

Before serving the notice, an election commission team visited the spot. Jagir Kaur feigned ignorance about the allegation, saying “the function ended at 5pm and I left the place at 6:05pm. I didn’t see anyone serving the liquor”, adding “it could be the handiwork of my political opponents”. “Had liquor been actually served, the news channels would have questioned me there and then,” she said.

Even as she denied any role or knowledge of the matter, Jagir Kaur said sometimes people don’t know about the restrictions under the poll code and the violations can be inadvertent.

Use C-Vigil phone app to report violations: CEO Raju

Punjab CEO S Karuna Raju said the Election Commission of India has launched C-Vigil mobile phone application for the first time in the country, which is a “time-location stamped evidence” . “Had C-Vigil been used to report Khadoor Sahib liquor serving incident, there would have been no problem in taking immediate decision,” said Raju, adding that the video and photos of poll code violation automatically get the location and time

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