Is industries minister Anil Joshi guilty of violations of certain clauses of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 for getting voter identity cards of seven of his relatives prepared at two different places?
Two voters of the city, Sandeep Gorsi of Sundernagar and Vaneet Mahajan of Kashmir Avenue have approached the chief election commissioner (CEC) with documents to prove that the minister, who belongs to the BJP, had violated the Act.
Their representation to the CEC was forwarded to Punjab chief electoral officer (CEO) Kusumjit Sidhu who, in turn, asked deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal to conduct an inquiry.
The CEO had asked the DC to submit his report by January 10. However, till date the report has not been submitted and if the two complainants are to be believed, the DC is under "political pressure" and is "sitting" on the inquiry.
Gorsi and Mahajan, both of whom are well-known advocates of the city, presented their case before the media here on Wednesday and showed two voter lists of the Amritsar North assembly constituency and the Tarn Taran assembly segment. The names (with photos) of seven relatives of the minister are common in both the lists, on the basis of which votes were cast in the January assembly polls last year. Anil Joshi won as a candidate of the BJP from the Amritsar North constituency in 2007 and 2012, while his brother Rajesh Joshi is a member of the Tarn Taran municipal committee.
The names common in both the lists are those of Pushpa Joshi, Vijay Joshi, Punam Joshi, Rajesh Joshi, Mamta Joshi, Varinder Joshi and Jyoti Joshi. However, Anil Joshi and his wife Monica are listed as voters from Amritsar North constituency only and not from Tarn Taran, the home town of the Joshi clan. Interestingly, all the seven relatives are listed as voters from house no. 110, Medical Enclave, the minister's residence in the Amritsar North segment.
"Who benefited in such a scenario? It was Anil Joshi, who got reelected from Amritsar North where seven of his relatives must have voted for him. The other person who gained was Rajesh Joshi, who became the member of the Tarn Taran MC," the two lawyers contended.
In their complaint filed before the CEC, they have sought the registration of a criminal case of cheating, misrepresentation and forgery against Anil Joshi and his brother Rajesh. They have also demanded that the candidature of Anil Joshi from the Amritsar North constituency should be cancelled as per the clauses in the Representation of Peoples Act and his election should be set aside.
"If we fail to get justice, we will take necessary legal measures as this is a clear case of forgery by an elected representative of the people," said the two lawyers, claiming that they had met officials of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Delhi in connection with this case.
Inquiry still on, says DC
DC Rajat Aggarwal, when contacted, said that the two advocates had met him and he had told them that the inquiry was on. He said that when the inquiry is completed, the report would be submitted to the Punjab CEO and shared with the two advocates.
"The additional deputy commissioner (ADC) is conducting the inquiry. At present, I only have one ADC looking after both general administration and development. So the inquiry is taking time, but it will be completed soon. The inquiry officer will go into the details available with the returning officer for the Amritsar North assembly segment," the DC said.