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Huge cash seized in run-up to AP polls
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 15
In a major drive to check influence of money power in elections, the Andhra Pradesh government has, so far, seized cash amounting to Rs 24.20 crore during searches of vehicles across the state.

As part of the special drive, launched soon after the announcement of poll schedule last month, the police set up check posts at key locations and started searching vehicles, including the ones carrying campaign materials of political parties.

“Over 425 cases have been booked so far. If the credentials of the source and purpose of expenditure are convincing, the money seized by the police is being returned to the owners concerned,” I V Subba Rao, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), said.

The unaccounted money seized by the police would go to the state exchequer. “Our intention is not to harass anyone. I want all those carrying cash either to carry proper evidence or use banking services till April 23 (when the second and final phase of polling ends),” the CEO said.

If persons carrying huge amount of cash could not disclose a credible source, the money was being confiscated after filing a case and deposited in a judicial magistrate’s court.

In cases where courts did not have a strong room to protect the money, the same was being deposited in the government sub-treasuries. The parties or persons concerned were being given 24-hour time to prove that the seized money had a proper source and a legitimate purpose of expenditure.

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) AK Khan said the police was asked to issue receipts to all those from whom money was being confiscated. The Income Tax department was also roped in to deal with cases of seized money.

Khan said petrol bunk-owners, private engineering college managements and the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, had complained about the cash seizures.

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