I-T dept to help EC prevent illegal fund flow during polls

The Income-Tax department is all set to assist the Election Commission in preventing the flow of money into the state before or during the forthcoming Assembly Elections.

Soon after the candidates declare their assets, the officials of the Investigation Wing of the I-T department will verify their possessions and if it is found the candidate possesses more assets than the declaration in the nomination form, the individual's candidature will be disqualified.

Special intelligence units of the I-T department will be set up at all the airports, railway stations and other important locations which the I-T department and Election Commission consider necessary.

"At the airports, the department will function with the assistance of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which performs the luggage screening of passengers. If anybody is found carrying a sum of Rs 20,000 or more, the intelligence unit will be alerted and the concerned person will be under our scanner since then. He will be interrogated and if he cannot explain the source of the money, he might be detained," said T BC Rozaro, I-T Director General (Investigation, East). He added that the amount Rs 20,000 is just an indicative one, and will be considered in genuine cases like treatment, marriage, and others.

Rozaro further said the illegal cash could be in two forms ¿ it could either be legitimate and properly accounted money, which is going to be used for the purpose of influencing voters, or it could be unaccounted money. The first case being a criminal offence, the concerned person will be handed over to the police, and in the second case, the unaccounted money will be seized by the Intelligence Unit.

Similar units will also be set up at important railway stations of the state. IT authorities admitted that the task will be difficult there as no X-ray machines are set up on the railway stations. "We will operate mainly on the basis of prior information and frisk only suspected people. General passengers will not be harassed," said Biswanth Jha, IT Director, (Investigation, Kolkata).

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