Ahmedabad: The Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) of Ahmedabad police today initiated probe into the first information report filed against BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi yesterday for an alleged violation of the Representation of People Act.
On the orders of the Election Commission, the FIR was lodged against Modi yesterday under section 126 (1)(a) of the Act, which prohibits for holding a press conference within 100 meters of a polling booth and public meetings during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed in connection with an election.
A non-cognisable complaint was also filed against the TV channels which broadcast the conference under section 126 (1)(b) of the RP Act, which prohibits display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus.
“There is only one FIR against Modi for violating 126(1)(a) of the RP Act and section 188 of (IPC) for violating CrPC section 144, which prohibits more than four people from gathering for a specific purpose.
“This is a cognisable offence, which falls under the jurisdiction of police. Police inspector Harpal Rathod became the complainant on behalf of government,” said a senior crime branch official.
“Another complaint against TV channels is filed under 126(1)(b) for telecasting Modi’s press conference, it is not an FIR. It is a non-cognisable offence. We will approach the court and follow its order about the NC complaint, as police can not investigate NC complaint (on their own).”
Modi addressed a press conference immediately after he voted at a school in Ranip area of Ahmedabad yesterday. He also displayed his party’s symbol, lotus.
“Just like any other case, we will investigate this case to find out the facts such as whether Modi was inside the 100 meters radius of polling booth. Our preliminary probe revealed that authorities had marked that limit with a white strip outside the booth, and the press conference was outside that limit,” said the officer.
“Our line of investigation includes questioning people present at the time and acquiring video footage. However, it is not always necessary to question the accused. We may or may not call Modi for questioning,” said the officer.
“As per the RP Act, one can be sentenced to 2 years jail term and/or fine, for the violation of section 126(1)(a), thus, it is not necessary that one will be sent to jail for a violation,” said another police officer.
“The charges against Modi under CrPC 144 will not stand the trial, as nobody can prove that all the mediapersons and common public were invited or called to the venue by Modi himself. Modi never sent SMS or called them,” said the officer.