GUWAHATI, March 18 - The Election Commission of India (ECI) has ordered withdrawal of Expenditure Observer Raghavendra Singh and asked the controlling authority to initiate suitable departmental action against him.
Singh had led a search in the house of sitting Minister Rakibul Hussain on March 16, triggering an uproar in the Congress camp. Terming it as a political conspiracy, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee had also lodged a complaint with the ECI.
�The Commission has viewed this lapse by the Expenditure Observer seriously and has withdrawn him from the constituency forthwith and instructed the controlling authority to initiate suitable departmental action against him,� stated an ECI statement issued by Dhirendra Ojha, Director, ECI, today.
The statement, referring to its findings, said, �In the present case, the Expenditure Observer has transgressed his jurisdiction by reaching the spot himself and acted against the instruction of the ECI. The Commission does not authorize any of its observers to carry out any such enforcement activities by himself/herself. The observers on receiving such information are required to pass on the same to enforcement agencies for appropriate action and continue monitoring action as laid down in the manual of the ECI,� it added.
�All observers have been directed to perform their action within the prescribed framework as laid down by the ECI manual,� the statement stated
The Commission also stated that it has verified the facts and had received a report from the Income Tax (IT) Department of Assam.
�A factual report has also been received from the Expenditure Observer. It has been ascertained that the search and seizure operation had been conducted independently by the IT Department under the provisions of the IT Act on receipt of intelligence from other independent agency,� said the statement.
Meanwhile, the Expenditure Observer had activated the flying squad as part of follow-up action following the information received from the IT Department, the statement added.