Enticing voters not to exercise their franchise is the new trend that is fast catching up in poll-bound Karnataka. The seizure of 10,000 voter ID cards from an apartment at RR Nagar in Bengaluru on Tuesday, 8 May, seems to be an indication of this “new craft.”
This is how the racket works: candidates bribe registered voters, who they believe would not vote for them for ideological reasons, in exchange for their electors photo identity cards (EPIC).
The price of EPIC cards varies from place to place. It is just Rs 100 in a Lambani tanda (cluster) in a remote assembly segment of north Karnataka but could go up to Rs 2,000 for slum dwellers in Bengaluru.
“I was approached by supporters of a BJP candidate who asked me if I wanted to get Rs 1,000 for not voting,” Arbaz Khan (name changed), a carpenter in Hebbal, said. “And I said, ‘yes.’ Some of other absentee voters in my colony got a pint of whiskey along with cash,” he claimed.
2. Vijay Mallya Can Be Regarded as ‘Fugitive from Justice’: UK High Court
A UK High Court on Wednesday, 9 May, concluded that liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in India to face charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore, can be regarded as a “fugitive from justice.” This comes a day after he lost a lawsuit filed by 13 Indian banks in the UK High Court seeking to collect more than $1.55 billion from him.
Judge Andrew Henshaw, who upheld the worldwide freeze order and ruled in favour of 13 Indian state-owned banks, took note of the fact that the 62-year-old businessman is contesting his extradition to India relating to “alleged financial misconduct”.
“In all these circumstances, and even taking account of the fact that Dr Mallya is contesting the alleged grounds for extradition, there are grounds for regarding Dr Mallya as a fugitive from justice,” the judge said as part of his ruling.
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