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‘Cash for votes’ remark: Goa court issues notice to Kejriwal

SNS | New Delhi |

Trouble seems to be mounting up for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a local court in Goa has issued a notice to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with a case filed against him for his bribery remarks made during Goa Legislative Assembly elections held last year.

Judicial Magistrate (First Class) at Mapusa town issued the notice to the AAP leader on Friday and fixed the next hearing on 8 February.

In 2017 January, the Election Commission had ordered the police to file an FIR against Kejriwal after he publicly appealed to the voters to accept bribe offered by rival parties to vote for them during the Goa elections. The election was held in February last year.

During a series of rallies in Goa between 7-8 January, Kejriwal had appealed to voters to “accept money from the Congress and BJP candidates, but vote for the AAP”.

The AAP had contested 39 out of 40 seats with its leader, Elvis Gomes, as the chief ministerial candidate.

A complaint against Kejriwal was lodged by local Election Commission officials with Mapusa police.

The returning officer had approached the judicial magistrate (first class) in Mapusa in December 2017 with a plea that an offence under section 171 (B) (inducement to voters) and 171 E (bribery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) be registered against Kejriwal.

On 19 January, in a major setback to Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, Election Commission of India had recommended disqualification of its 20 MLAs for holding ‘profit of office’.

In its opinion, which was sent to President of India Ram Nath Kovind, the poll panel suggested that the MLAs were “unconstitutionally” appointed as parliamentary secretaries to various Delhi ministers, therefore they are liable for disqualification.