Cases were on Monday lodged against 11 aspiring candidates in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, caught during a sting operation allegedly trying to obtain bribe from corporates.
"FIRs have been lodged against 11 people, including three sitting MLAs, whose name figured in the sting operation by a news channel," chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha told reporters here.
The candidates against whom FIRs were lodged Kiran Pal Kashyap, Ayub Jung, Saleem Ansari, Virendra Singh Chauhan of Prabuddh Nagar, Syed Zaki, Sukhlal of Pilibhit district, Nahid Hasan of Saharanpur, Narendra Sisodia Ghaziabad, Harpal Singh JP Nagar, Shahnawaz Rana of Bijnore and Jagat Pal Singh of Moradabad.
Among them Sukhlal, Harpal Singh and Rana are the sitting MLAs, the CEO said.
On January 27, the EC had asked the UP CEO to ask its returning officers in Ghaziabad, Prabudha Nagar, Bijnor, Pilibhit, Moradabad, Saharanpur and J P Nagar districts to register "complaints" against 11 people shown on the secret camera and submit an action taken report.
"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," the EC said.
"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.
"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 1 to 3 crore which includes expense in the name of dummy candidates, liquor for the electors and other expenses," the EC notice said.