A convicted smuggler has been allowed to contest in the panchayat polls in Shankar village. Ranno, wife of Darshan, is a candidate for the post of panch from ward no 4.
She had been sentenced to 10 year jail and also fined Rs 1 lakh in a case of poppy husk smuggling, after being caught with the 11 kg of contraband in August 2009. She is on bail and her appeal against the conviction is pending.
She had also been convicted in other cases of the NDPS Act. Her house at Shankar village had been attached on the orders from the competent authority. Her bank account amounting to Rs. 2 lakh in Unioun Bank branch at Shankar is also attached.
Section 8(3) of Representation of the People Act, 1951, states that if a person is convicted of any offence and sentenced to 2 years or more, he is disqualified to contest elections. Even if a person is on bail after conviction and his appeal is pending for disposal he is disqualified from contesting an election as per the guide lines issued by the Election Commission Of India.
Nakodar SDM HS Dhaliwal evaded a direct reply in this regard and said that the returning officer should be contacted for comments.
Returning officer of zone number 8 Harpal Singh, an employee of the agriculture department, said that nobody raised any objections on the nomination papers of Ranno and that he too had found nothing objectionable in her candidature.
Later, Nakodar SDM added that her documents would be checked again and then action would be taken as per law.