Over Rs 15 crore illegal cash seized in Mumbai ahead of assembly elections

Over Rs 15 crore illegal cash seized in Mumbai ahead of assembly elections
To keep the electoral process free from any influence, the IT department is keeping special tabs on the movement of unaccounted cash or valuables meant for illegal distribution (Representational Image)

The Income Tax Department has seized illegal cash amounting to over Rs 15 crore in Mumbai since the Model Code of Conduct for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections came into force.

The EC announced the poll date for the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly on September 21. The polls will take place on October 21 and the results will be declared on October 24.

Since the dates were announced, the department has seized Rs 15.5 crore in illegal cash, where the owners could not disclose the source of the money, and registered several cases in connection with the seizures.

Meanwhile, as the election date nears, the department is keeping special tabs on the movement of unaccounted cash or valuables meant for illegal distribution in the constituencies.

To keep the electoral process free from any influence, the department has also roped in additional manpower to beef up the strength of the Quick Response Teams, which are actively conducting searches in the city.

Further, the IT Department is responding to all calls and tips from the police, members of the public and other sources. All such tips are verified and raids are conducted in cases where the information is deemed credible.

“The Department will give special attention to the movement of unaccounted cash OR valuables and also prohibition of distribution of cash or valuables meant for wooing the electorate, particularly during the period when election campaign ceases on October 19 till the date of polling (October 21),” it said in a release stated.

Besides, it has also engaged in a sensitisation and awareness programme through the print and electronic media, at airports, radio channels, social media, public transport, audio/video messages through celebrities on these aspects.

Similar measures are continuing all over the state, in all major cities and towns to ensure that free and fair elections are conducted without the influence of cash/valuables.

Last week, the Election Commission said it had removed over 5,000 illegal political hoardings from the Mumbai suburban district.

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