Meghalaya banks told to keep tab on transactions

Shillong, Jan 19 : The Meghalaya election department on Friday instructed all banks to monitor and submit report on detecting suspicious cash transactions by individuals and political parties in this poll-bound state.

"We have asked all banks to share information with respective District Election Officers on finding any unusual and suspicious cash withdrawal or deposit of cash in a bank account exceeding Rs 1 lakh during the process of election," Chief Electoral Officer Frederick Roy Kharkongor told journalists after a meeting with the state-level bankers' committee.

"We have also asked the banks to look into unusual transfer of amount by real time gross settlement (RTGS) from one bank account to accounts of several persons in a district or constituency without any precedent of such transfer," Kharkongor said.

There are 36 banks in Meghalaya, which include the State Bank of India, Meghalaya Rural Bank and Meghalaya Cooperative Apex Bank, and these banks have around 395 branches.

In Garo hills, the State Bank of India has 41 branches, MRB (30) and MCAB (25).

During the meeting, the election official said the banks have been instructed to open dedicated counters for election purpose to facilitate prompt service to the candidates for opening of bank accounts and allow withdrawals and deposits from such accounts on priority during the election period.

He also said that a standing provision also stated that if withdrawal is more than Rs 10 lakh, such information should be passed on to a nodal officer of the income tax department for taking necessary actions under the income tax laws.

District election officers should also activate the 180 flying squads to act on tip off over movement of cash and take necessary action.

Meanwhile, Magistrates of various districts have promulgated an order under section 144 CrPC prohibiting any person or group of persons from carrying money above Rs 50,000 following information that some persons may carry large amount of hard cash to bribe voters to cast their votes in favour of a particular candidate.

Elections to the tenth Meghalaya Assembly will be held on February 27 and counting of votes would be held on March 3.

The ninth Meghalaya Assembly, comprising 60 members, was constituted on March 7, 2013, and its term expires on March 6.



Source: IANS