First information reports (FIRs) were registered against 11 prospective candidates, including three sitting MLAs, in seven districts on Monday under Section 171-B of the Indian Penal Code (procuring bribe and allurement of voters).
This was done on the direction of the Election Commission of India (ECI).
Taking cognisance of a sting ‘Operation MLA’ carried out by a news channel, which showed some of the candidates belonging to various political parties taking bribe from the corporates allegedly for the purpose of their election expenditure in the assembly election, the ECI had directed the district election officers to register case against the candidates.
Talking to the journalists, chief electoral officer Umesh Sinha said the prospective candidates against whom FIR have been registered are Kiranpal Singh, Ayub Jung, Salim Ansari, Virendra Singh Chauhan (Prabudh Nagar), Saiyed Zaki, Sukhlal (Pilibhit), Nahid Hasan (Saharanpur), Narendra Sisodiya (Ghaziabad), Harpal Singh (JP Nagar), Shahnawaz Rana (Bijnor) and Jagatpal Singh (Moradabad).
Sukhlal, Harpal Singh and Shahnawaz Rana are sitting MLAs. When asked if the candidates could file their nominations, Sinha said since probe against the MLAs was in progress they could file papers.
The ECI has made it clear that if convicted by the court, it may result in imprisonment up to one year or fine including disqualification for continuing as MLA, if elected and also from contesting any election in future. The Janta Dal (U) has already expelled its candidate Jagatpal Singh from the party.