How to get back the money confiscated by the Flying Squads?

Flying squads are conducting raids to stop candidates or political parties from giving money or gifts to voters as the Lok Sabha election date is announced. During such raids, common people’s money is also seized.

When a Punjabi family recently traveled to Ooty, the authorities confiscated their money because they owned cash without the required paperwork. After submitting the required paperwork, they were reimbursed Rs. 69,400. So, let’s see how to get back the money confiscated by the flying soldiers.

Election Code of Conduct:

The Election Commission declared on April 16 that there will be seven stages to the parliamentary elections, running from April 19 to June 1. Following the announcement of the election date, the Code of Conduct of Elections will take effect. These guidelines must be adhered to until the election results are announced. A term included in that is the flying squad, which will be organized to halt the flow of money.

The formation of Static Surveillance Teams and Flying Squad Teams aim to stop political parties from presenting gifts and cash to voters. For every 234 assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu, there are now 702 Election Flying Squad Committees and 702 Standing Monitoring Committees, with three committees each. These teams will alternate shifts of eight hours, providing round-the-clock surveillance.

Forfeiture of money:

If a person has cash or jewelry worth more than Rs 50,000 without proper documents, it will be confiscated by the Election Flying Squad. Similarly, possession of gifts worth more than Rs.10,000 will be captured. The individual in question will receive a legitimate receipt for the money that was taken, and it will be deposited into the State Treasury.

The Income Tax Department will be informed by the Election Officers if more than ten lakhs of rupees or goods are seized. During such an inspection, if the person is a woman, then her bag needs to be checked by a female officer should. The woman’s bag shouldn’t be searched if a female officer isn’t present.

In the notification of the Election Commission, there is an additional instruction that action should be taken if there is a party flag, poster, alcohol, weapon, or gift item in the vehicle where money is seized. However, the probation officers have the power to confiscate money from anyone who carries more than the amount specified by the commission. A case will also be registered if there is any doubt about the seized money.

A party’s star speaker can carry up to Rs.1 lakh. The party treasurer must provide a letter attesting to the fact that the funds being carried are intended for this constituency’s expenses. Such duly received money shall not be forfeited.

How to get the confiscated money?

A committee has been formed to assist those who wish to recover the confiscated funds and is done by making them submitting the necessary paperwork. The committee members are (i) the CEO, Zila Parishad/CDO/PD, DRDA; (ii) the Nodal Officer of Expenditure Monitoring in the District Election Office (Convenor); and (iii) the District Treasury Officer.

The Committee shall voluntarily inquire into the seized money or property or hand over the appropriate documents to the submitter.

A receipt for the money if it is taken out of a bank, a document if it is received from someone, and a receipt if it is taken out of an ATM should all be presented. Additionally, the document about why the funds are being transferred must be presented. The owner will receive their money back if these are accurate.

Within seven days following the election, confiscations that have not been registered must be returned to their rightful owners. If a thorough investigation reveals that there was no election law violation, the forfeitures that were recorded in the case will be returned to the individual in question.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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