A local court issued bailable warrants against Punjab local bodies and medical education minister Anil Joshi, his wife Monica and seven other relatives after they failed to appear in court in the 'dual votes' case.
The warrants were issued by the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM),Youkti Goel, when the case came up for hearing here on Friday. The CJM fixed June 11 as the next date of hearing of the case.
This order comes close on the heels of non-bailable warrants already having been issued against the minister in two separate defamation cases and another related to destruction of private property. Joshi has failed to get relief in these cases so far, though his application for anticipatory bail is to come up for hearing in the court of the district sessions judge on May 12.
Second non-appearance in court
This was the second successive non-appearance of Joshi clan in the CJM's court in the 'dual votes' case. On April 9, when the case first came up for hearing, the minister and his family members failed to present themselves in the court despite having been directed to do so through an order passed on February 25.
In its February order, the court had issued notices to the minister and his relatives after the additional deputy commissioner (ADC-development), Pardeep Sabharwal, filed a criminal complaint against the minister and his relatives in the court under sections 17, 18 and 31 of the Representation of Peoples Act (RP Act). The complaint was filed on the directions of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Besides the minister and his wife, the others mentioned in the complaint are his brother, Rajesh Kumar, who is a member of the Municipal Committee (MC), Tarn Taran, Puspa Rani, the mother of the minister and relatives, Vijay Kumar, Punam Joshi, Mamta, Varinder and Jyoti.
The ECI had directed the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to file a complaint under the RP Act against the minister and all other persons for having enrolled as voters in more than one place and also for making false declarations at the time of contesting elections.
The orders by the ECI were issued on a representation submitted to the ECI's office in New Delhi in November 2012 by two city based advocates----Sandeep Gorsi and Vaneet Mahajan.
The two lawyers on the basis of records pertaining to the electoral rolls from 2006 to 2013, had shown that Joshi and his wife, Monica were listed as
voters from Amritsar North and Amritsar East assembly constituencies, while his mother was listed as a voter from the two above constituencies, part from Tarn Taran, the ancestral town of the Joshi clan. All others were listed as voters from Amritsar North and from Tarn Taran.
Joshi won as a candidate of the BJP from the Amritsar North constituency in 2007 and then in 2012, while his brother Rajesh Joshi is a member of the Municipal Committee (MC) of Tarn Taran.
The two advocates in their complaint had demanded action against the minister and his brother Rajesh Joshi, as they had betrayed the voters by making false declarations at the time of filing of nomination papers for their respective elections.