EC Orders Filing Of Case Against Mehbooba
4 May 2004
New Delhi: The Election Commission today asked the Jammu and Kashmir Government to register a criminal case against Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the People's Democratic Party and daughter of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, for allegedly intimidating voters in Srinagar during the second phase of polling on April 26. The decision to file an FIR was taken at a meeting of the full Commission, said A.N. Jha, Deputy Election Commissioner and Commission spokesman. Briefing reporters, Mr. Jha said the authorities concerned had been directed to file a case under Section 171 (c) of the Indian Penal Code and the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act. He said that according to complaints received by the Commission, Ms. Mehbooba intimidated voters that day at a booth in the Srinagar parliamentary constituency, where the Opposition National Conference leader, Omar Abdullah, is seeking re-election. The Commission had also received a report from the State authorities. The National Conference had filed a complaint with the Commission that Ms. Mehbooba had gone into a polling booth at Burn Hall School and lifted the veil of a woman. It was alleged that Ms. Mehbooba had abused her power by storming the polling booth along with her security guards and threatening the voters. After lodging the complaint with the chief electoral officer in the State, the National Conference threatened to boycott the subsequent phases of polling if the Commission did not take any action. The election officers in the State conducted an inquiry and their report found that Ms. Mehbooba 'did intimidate' the voters on the polling day. Hence the Commission had recommended the registration of a case against her.