Voters often being bribed with jewellery, gifts: Justice Pasayat

Bhubaneswar: Justice (retired) Arijit Pasayat, the vice-chairperson of Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money, today revealed that cash is no more the sole ‘weapon’ in the hands of some unscrupulous elements to influence the voters ahead of elections in India.

Now-a-days, these unscrupulous elements are often trying to influence the voters by providing them jewellery and other valuables as gifts, said Justice Pasayat after holding a meeting of the SIT on black money in Odisha’s Cuttack city today.

“It has been observed that some people are providing gold and diamond jewellery as gifts to influence voters during elections in India. They are also supplying drugs to the voters. The enforcement agencies have seized huge quantities of drugs during Assembly elections in a few states in India recently,” he added.

According to Justice Pasayat, high alertness by the enforcement agencies has forced the unscrupulous elements to change their modus operandi.

To substantiate his claim, Justice Pasayat cited a particular case in which a defunct pressure cooker manufacturing firm was utilized as a medium by the unscrupulous elements to transfer money to the voters during the Assembly election in a state.

“In this particular case, the pressure cooker manufacturing firm had stopped its production long ago. But, it suddenly got an order to supply 1,000 pressure cookers to a particular party. As the company was not in a position to supply the pressure cookers, the order was cancelled and the company was asked to distribute the advance amount among 1,000 people. The unscrupulous elements utilized the pressure cooker manufacturing unit as a medium to transfer the money to the voters,” narrated Justice Pasayat.

The SIT will submit its ninth interim report on black money to the Supreme Court, he added.

Senior officials of various enforcement agencies including, CBI, ED and Crime Branch were present at the meeting.

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