The Election Commission has issued a notice to Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer taking cognisance of a "sting operation" which shows some aspiring poll candidates in the state allegedly trying to obtain "bribe" from corporates.
The EC has asked the CEO to ask its Returning Officers (ROs) in Ghaziabad, Prabudha Nagar, Bijnor, Pilibhit, Moradabad, Saharanpur and J P Nagar districts to register "complaints" against eleven people shown on the secret camera and submit an action taken report by Sunday.
"The channel (India TV) has shown that such prospective candidates of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly have admitted to incur the election expenditure in crores and extend undue advantage to the donor corporates after succeeding in the election by forming groups of like-minded MLAs in the Legislative Assembly. This amounts to bribery at an election under section 171-B of the IPC.
"Since such persons as covered under the sting operation have attempted to procure or obtain bribe, for exercising their electoral right, including the right to stand as a candidate at an election, it is covered under the definition of 'bribery'," the EC said in its notice, which was also issued to the Income Tax investigations wing in Lucknow.
Section 171-B of the IPC deals with bribery.
The EC, according to the notice, has gone through the transcript of the undated 'sting' video and has asked the I-T department to probe the source of any "bribe" funds entailed in the incident.
However, sources said that none of the eleven people shown in the sting have filed nominations for contesting.
"It was telecast (in the sting) that such persons, aspiring to be candidates from various political parties, have admitted that their election expenditure will be between Rs one to three crores which includes expense in the name of dummy candidates, liquor for the electors and other expenses," the EC said in its notice.