NEW DELHI: The office of the Delhi Chief Election Commissioner has uncovered a massive electoral scam involving the use of forged documents to obtain voter identity cards for suspected Bangladesh nationals, 13 lakh bogus voters and inflated voter numbers per family in about 20,000 households.
Huge irregularities have been unearthed in the old electoral rolls of the city, resulting in the deleting of the names of about 13 lakh bogus voters from the old list over the last few months.
Surprisingly, during a revision exercise, officials found over 80,000 valid voter cards for dead people. The election office is now engaged in a summary revision. The Delhi Election Commission has deleted 13 lakh names as they were “bogus” voters.
“They are basically ineligible. Many of them are dead, many have shifted from their original place, and many are those who are already listed. There are instances in which people get new voter cards after shifting from one place to another but they don’t get their names deleted from the former place,” added the officer.
Dev said the revision of electoral rolls is still on and a final list will be published on September 2.
“So far there are a total 1.12 crore voters in the city after the deleting of ineligible names. We hope that about 2-3 lakh more voters will be added to the list,” he added.
In the latest case, officials found that forged Aadhar cards were used by a group of people suspected to be Bangladeshi immigrants. Suspecting this could be just part of a large-scale racket aimed at getting people unauthorised citizenship, an FIR has been registered and an investigation initiated.
The Delhi Election Commission has also started cracking down on officials suspected of involvement in various offences, including criminal offences. About 80 officials have already been penalised for various reasons, including for accepting bribes while on election duty.
The scams do not end here. Delhi state chief election officer (CEO) Vijay Dev told Mail Today: “Over 22,000 households with more than 20 members (per family) on the electoral rolls have been identified. Officials find this unusual and feel instances of forgery can’t be ruled out here.”
Speaking about the latest case of forgery, Vijay Dev said: “A large-scale scam by those having no identity cards can’t be denied in this case… We have lodged a case with the police and requested them to investigate further. There may be more people using forged identity papers or address proof to get voter identity cards. In the present case, 32 persons were found involved in forgery.”
Electoral officials discovered the fraud while scanning documents.
“While going through the documents, they noticed Aadhar cards ending with the same numbers. On closer inspection, they found that photocopies of the same Aadhar cards had been used with different photographs. For proof of address they had used the same electricity bills as well,” added Dev.