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Tamil Nadu: Rs 69,400 cash seized from tourists in Nilgiris due to poll code, returned after verification

The election flying squad, while on duty, confiscated cash from a family based in Punjab during a vehicle check in Tamil Nadu's Nilgiris distric. The family had travelled to Nilgiris for a vacation, and the confiscation was conducted as part of the Model Code of Conduct rules.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Chennai Published on: March 26, 2024 13:05 IST
Lok Sabha Elections
Image Source : X/@COLLRNLG The officials returned the money of the Punjab-based family

Lok Sabha Election 2024: The election officials recovered Rs 69,400 in cash from a Punjab-based family on the National Highway at Coonoor in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu where they had come for a vacation. The election officials confiscated the cash from the family during a vehicle check on Sunday, as part of the rules of the Model Code of Conduct. The Model Code of Conduct came into force when the Election Commission announced the dates for the Lok Sabha polls on March 16.

Later, the assistant returning officer of Nilgiris verified the documents of the tourists and returned the amount that was seized by the election officials.

Video went viral

A video capturing the incident went viral on social media, depicting a woman carrying her child, visibly distressed and pleading with the officials to return the money. In the video, both the woman and her husband can be seen explaining to the officials that they were unaware of the Model Code of Conduct rules enforced due to the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Meanwhile, the officials are seen briefing the family about the rules.

In the video, the woman asks an official, speaking in Tamil, if she would get her money back, to which the official responds affirmatively, mentioning that it would be returned by Monday.

What is Model Code of Conduct?

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission that regulates the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections. The MCC aims to ensure free and fair elections by preventing unfair practices, maintaining a level playing field, and promoting ethical conduct among political participants.

The MCC  comes into force from the date the election schedule is announced until the date the results are declared. Therefore, it will come into force from  March 17 evening and will remain in effect until the conclusion of the election process.

MCC rule

According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), any individual found carrying cash exceeding Rs 50,000 or new items worth over Rs 10,000 will be seized. This measure has been put in place to prevent the misuse of cash for electoral influence.

If the individual can provide valid documents and declare that the seized items are not related to the elections, they will be returned. However, if the seized cash amount exceeds Rs 10 lakh, it will be forwarded to the Income Tax Department for further investigation.

Lok Sabha Election 2024

The General Elections 2024 for the 18th Lok Sabha will be held in 7 phases, starting from April 19. The results will be declared on June 4.  The Election Commission said 102 constituencies will go for polls in the first phase on April 19, followed by 89 constituencies in the second phase on April 26. The third phase will be held on May 7, the fourth on May 13, the fifth on May 20, the sixth on May 25 and the seventh and the last phase on June 1. In the first phase, 102 constituencies will go for polls, 89 constituencies in the second phase, 94 constituencies in the third, 96 in the fourth phase, 49 in the fifth phase, 57 in the sixth phase and 57 in the seventh phase.

Tamil Nadu is set to witness polling in a single phase beginning on April 19 for the much-awaited general elections.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 to be held from April 19 in seven phases, results on June 4 | Details

Also Read: AMMK, an ally of NDA, announces Lok Sabha candidates for Tamil Nadu, Dhinakaran to contest from Theni


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