New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) The CBI on Thursday carried out searches at three locations in Vellore in Tamil Nadu after registering an FIR in the 2019 cash-for-vote scandal in the district during Lok Sabha elections that had led to cancellation of polls in the constituency, officials said. The searches were conducted at the premises of M Dayanidhi, the then senior manager of Canara Bank, Vellore branch, and two private persons Damodaran and Srinivasan in connection with the case, they said. The trio have been booked by the agency in its FIR registered on September 22, on the basis of 'reliable information', related to the recovery of Rs 11.48 crore in newly-printed Rs 200 notes by Income Tax department on April 1, 2019 from the cement godown of Damodaran which were issued from the currency chest of the Canara Bank branch, they said. Srinivasan, a relative of Damodaran, had allegedly claimed that this cash was his own and was meant for distribution to voters in Vellore constituency during the parliamentary elections scheduled on April 18, 2019.
After receiving information from tax authorities, the Election Commission had cancelled the election. It is learnt that the cash in the bundles of Rs 200 denomination was obtained from Canara Bank's currency chest in exchange for other currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denomination, the agency has alleged.
It is alleged that Dayanidhi facilitated the exchange by inducing another public servant and falsifying the accounts to obtain the bundles of Rs 200 notes abusing his official position as a public servant by violating the laid down rules and procedures of the Canara Bank.
'Dayanidhi, being a public servant, in criminal conspiracy with other accused persons committed an act of criminal misconduct by extending undue favour to the other accused private persons Damodaran and Srinivasan. The currency was obtained for facilitating easy distribution of currency notes to the voters in the Vellore parliamentary constituency during the parliamentary election which was to be held on April 18, 2019 in turn promotes corruption,' the CBI said in the FIR. PTI ABS ZMN