The Madras High Court was moved by the DMK on Thursday seeking installation of CCTVs in all streets of the bypoll-bound RK Nagar constituency and live stream polling and counting to curb illegal activities.
DMK candidate in the bypoll N Maruthu Ganesh filed the petition seeking a direction to the Election Commission in this regard.
He also wanted the EC to take all effective measures to prevent distribution of money and materials to voters to ensure a free and fair election by deploying adequate number of CRPF personnel in the constituency, where polling will be held on December 21.
When senior counsel P Wilson made a mention in this regard and wanted the matter to be taken up on an urgent basis, a division bench of Justice T S Sivagnanam and Justice K Ravichandrabaabu, rejected his plea and said it would be heard on December 18.
According to the petitioner, during the previous cancelled by-election, corrupt practices were allegedly adopted by the ruling AIADMK, leading to the poll being cancelled by the EC.
He further submitted that in the changed scenario, two rival groups of the AIADMK had fielded their respective candidates and alleged their workers were indulging in various corrupt activities, including distribution of money to voters.
The DMK candidate’s counsel also said physical and verbal clashes have been reported at many places in the constituency, leading to law and order problems, creating panic in the minds of the voters.
“Though there are nearly 10 companies of Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the entire constituency, the number is not sufficient to have full control over the constituency,” he submitted.
He also alleged that the AIADMK has brought outsiders for distributing money to voters. In order to curb such illegal activities, monitoring through CCTV was necessary, the petitioner added.
He wanted the court to direct the EC to deploy adequate number of CRPF personnel and install CCTVs.
This apart, the entire process of polling and counting shall be made transparent and everything shall be live webcast and also recorded through fixed cameras, he said.
Besides Ganesh, AIADMK’s E Madhusudhnan and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran are among others contesting the bypoll for the RK Nagar constituency, necessitated by the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December, 2016.
Counting of votes is scheduled for December 24.