Despite incriminating evidence procured through Section 4 of the RTI Act, proving fraudulent deletion of Sharad Phadke’s name from voters’ list in Pune, the police got a counter statement from Election Commission office while refusing to registering an FIR
Sharad Phadke and I, who through inspection of files under Section 4 of the RTI Act, procured documents after spending two long days at the Tehsildar office in his Kasba constituency, revealing the fraudulent procedure adopted to delete his name from the voters’ list, decided to file a FIR for tampering with the voters’ list and illegally deleting his name.
We showed the documents to leading lawyer Aseem Sarode and noted RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar. Sarode stated that, “this case is a pointed one, directly showing the falsification of documents which is a criminal act and merits a FIR. It is a sample case of a possible mass fraud that led to deletion of thousands of names.’’ Kumbhar too mentioned that under the Representation of People’s Act, mischievous and fraudulent deletion of name from the voters’ list amounts to criminal offence and has rigorous punishment. In this case, the Collector, Election Officer and Block Officer are all directly responsible for this criminal act.
After three long hours of waiting, Senior Police Inspector Mr Sawant of the Vishrambag Wada Police Station, called us in and said that he will look into the matter as he had got a written statement from Vaishali Visal, the election office staffer, saying that she has followed the required procedure for deletion of Mr Phadke’s name. I snapped back saying, “how can you ask for a counter statement, with lodging Mr Phadke’s FIR?’’ He said. “just leave your complaint with me and we will do the needful after consulting with the senior. Such a complaint has to be addressed by the Election Commission and not by the police.”
So, how come, Mr Kirit Somayya’s police complaint regarding the same issue was filed at the Mulund Police Station under Section 120 B (for conspiracy?) just a while ago?’ To that Sawant asked us to go outside so that he could speak to his seniors.
After a few minutes, the havaldar came and asked Phadke to put a signature on his complaint, which we had drafted and brought a printout of it. Phadke insisted that he would like to lodge a FIR. So, again we went to Sawant’s office who mentioned that it would be lodged after further consultation with his seniors and he would ensure that the FIR copy is delivered to Mr Phadke’s house. As per law, the police is given 48 hours to lodge a FIR. Sarode has adviced that Phadke sends the complaint by registered post to Mr Sawant with a note saying that despite having come personally, FIR was not lodged. In the meanwhile we insisted that he gives us an acknowledgement on the copy of the complaint, which they did.
After that, I went to the Kothrud Election office where I had asked for details of three voters whose names were selectively deleted. Here too, the documents prove that no procedure was followed. More on this, tomorrow.
Details of Mr Phadke’s documents and procedure of deletion of names from the voters’ list can be read here: Pune voter list file inspection shows deletion is done fraudulently!
I used Twitter as a communication to give a minute-to-minute happening of our visit to the two police stations – first to Narayanpeth Police Chowkey and Vishrambagwada Police Station. Here they are:
My tweets (please read them from below for proper order):
In this country for ordinary citizens at all? Politician @KiritSomaiya 's FIR lodged immediately but Phadke's kept waiting.
Filing FIR of Kothrud documents tomorrow. Until then please pray that I get back my favourite Samsung tablet mobile. So distressing!
I went to Kothrud election office,got documents of 3 citizens. Here too no procedure followed-207of 267 names deleted from 1 polling station
Taking full advantage of 48 hrs stipulated time to lodge FIR, the police registered our police complaint but have to convert it into FIR
Noted lawyer Aseem Sarode has asked Phadke to send the police complaint by Regd post also.
Oh my God - after all that running, I've gone and lost my mobile. It's got left in the rickshaw. Efforts on to trace it
Just now Police Inspector Sawant has accepted Phadke's complaint. Police has 48 hrs time to do the FIR so he will send a copy later.
Now Police Inspector is again calling his seniors. Kya darte hei ye log
Outrageous. how can Pol Insp take statement of election office without taking Phadke's FIR? Shocking. We will wait
P I Sawant says he cannot take FIR and he has already got statement from EO.dat procedure was adopted. i again read out @Dev_Fadnavis tweet
We should all salute Sharad Phadke, a senior citizen who is more enthusiastic then me to file the complaint. He is my hero of the day
Honestly, why can't police take down FIR and then start internal consultations?
Thanks @Dev_Fadnavis forr tweet on @KiritSomaiya police complaint.I quickly showed it to police. waiting since 2.5 hrs at Visrambag pol stn
Election Commissions says sorry and takes responsibility for mass deletions.Not enough. Please announce fresh date before LS election process over
Now PSI Patil has been sent by his senior offucer to find out something before he takes down complaintThey in real fix as we try to fix them
Police at Narayan Peth police chowky say they need to consult seniors. Now we have been asked tk come to vishrambag pol st. Waiting
a SC judgment says if anything so abnormal has taken place CEC shld set aside normal procedures to ensure fair election.
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
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Sensex opened at 22,893 and immediately hit the days high of 22,939 while the Nifty opened at 6,856 and hit a high at 6,870. The indices edged lower and hit a low at 22,657 and 6,773. Sensex closed at 22,688 (down 188 points or 0.82%) while Nifty closed at 6,783 (down 58 points or 0.85%). The NSE recorded a volume of 87.14 crore shares.
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US indices closed in the green on Thursday.
Orders for durable goods such as computers, aircraft and heavy machinery jumped 2.6% in March and posted the biggest gain in four months, offering another sign that the US economy might be on the upswing after a winter-induced lull. The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose to the highest level in April, but most of the bump may have been related to a seasonal quirk tied to the Easter holiday.
Except for Jakarta Composite (0.13%) and Nikkei 225 (0.17%) all the other Asian indices closed in the negative. Taiwan Weighted (1.92%) was the top loser.
European indices were trading in the red. US Futures were also trading lower.
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For the quarter to end-March, Axis Bank said its net profit grew 18% to Rs1,842 crore from Rs1,555 crore while its total revenues, including interest income, grew 12% to Rs10,178 crore from Rs9,057.72 crore, same period last year.
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