Order CBI and ED probe into the seizure of Rs.570 crore: DMK

The DMK has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the seizure of Rs 570 crore by an Election Commission team near Coimbatore.

The principal opposition party in Tamil Nadu sent a letter on Monday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct an impartial probe by the CBI and the ED into the cash seizure and subsequent release issue.

The DMK spokesman and former member of parliament T.K.S. Elangovan, who wrote the letter, has also sent a representation to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Election Commissioner Nazim Zaidi, Reserve Bank of India's Governor Raghuram Rajan, CBI Director and others.

On May 13, 2016, Election Commission's surveillance team at Tirupur in Tamil Nadu chased and seized three container lorries transporting cash to the tune of Rs 570 crore.

"The seized lorries were brought and parked in the office of District Collector of Tirupur from 14.05.2016 to 17.05.2016," Elangovan said.

"The surveillance team found that the documents submitted by these persons did not have the vehicle numbers of the container lorries. The security officers who accompanied the vehicles belonged to Andhra Pradesh and were not in uniform," he said.

Elangovan said it was given to understand that after a lapse of 18 hours after the seizure of cash some letters were created in the name of State Bank of India (SBI) and the Income Tax department made a claim before the Chief Electoral Officer requesting transport of the three containers to SBI Treasury Branch Coimbatore.

According to Elangovan in one of the alleged SBI's inter-departmental letters there was a reference to a direction from RBI-Chennai and that cash remittance for Rs 570 crore is sought.

"However we are given to understand that RBI-Chennai has not given any such direction or permission for such cash remittances of Rs 570 crore," Elangovan said in his letter. 

He said as per RBI guidelines, whenever huge monies are to be transported between the currency chest of the same or different banks within the state or inter-state, the same has to be done only through rail and has to be escorted by the local police.

"However, no such steps have been undertaken in the instant case. Therefore, serious doubt arises about the genuineness of the belated claims of the officials of the State Bank of India over the said sum of Rs 570 crore," he added.