National

'Misleading' Social Media Posts Against MP Govt: Police Gathering Evidence, Not In Hurry To Send Notices, Say Officials

On Monday, officials from the Madhya Pradesh police said they would not send notices on an FIR filed against "handlers" of social media accounts of Congress leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others for posts alleging corruption in the state government.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra
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Madhya Pradesh police are collecting evidence and as of now don't plan to send notices on the FIR registered against "handlers" of social media accounts of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other leaders of Congress for posts alleging corruption in the state government, officials said on Monday.
    
The Indore Police last week registered an FIR against the "handlers" of the 'X' accounts of Gandhi Vadra, MP Congress chief Kamal Nath and former union minister Arun Yadav over the "50% commission government" posts.
    
A senior MP intelligence wing officer on Monday said at least ten FIRs have been registered so far.
    
“Right now, we are investigating the origin of the fake letter (mentioning 50 per cent commission) and the person behind it,” he added.
    
The officer said the police are investigating the matter and gathering evidence.
    
"As of now, we have no plan to send notices to them (handlers of social media accounts of Congress leaders) seeking a reply or to ask them to appear and clarify their side,” he told PTI.
    
He, however, appeared ambivalent on whether arrests will be made in this case.
    
"Arrests can't be made in this case given that the sections under which FIRs have been registered do not attract imprisonment for seven years or more. But this also you can't say. 
    
"For example, if forgery is proved during the investigation, section 467 of the Indian Penal Code, which is a non-bailable offence, (inviting imprisonment for life or 10 years plus fine) will be added in the FIRs, things will be different," he added.
    
He said police have not served any notice to anyone named in the FIRs.
    
In such cases, police generally send notice to the accused persons for their reply or summon them for recording statements before filing charge sheets. 
    
“We don't need to be going to serve notices to all the persons against whom FIRs are registered once the investigation is completed,” the officer added.
    
On Friday, Gandhi Vadra claimed on X that a union of contractors from Madhya Pradesh has written a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court complaining their payment is released only after paying 50 per cent commission.
    
In a statement released on Twitter, now known as X, the Indore Police Commissioner had said that local BJP's legal cell convenor Nimesh Pathak complained that a fake letter bearing the name of a person called Gyanendra Awasthi was circulated on social media. 
    
Asked about the purported letter, the intelligence wing officer on Monday said neither the person- Gyanendra Awasthi- nor the organisation (Association of Contractors) exists.
    
“In fact, that is why the cases have been registered (on tweets by Congress leaders). If there is no Awasthi and such an organisation, then the letter is forged. And that is the matter of investigation,” he added.
    
He said former Union Minister Arun Yadav had tweeted the (fake) letter but that doesn't mean he started it (the row).
    
"The letter might have surfaced on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social networking sites. But you tweet from your handle, right? From where you lifted (the letter), you only know. Priyanka (Gandhi Vadra) incorporated a newspaper report (regarding the 50 per cent commission) in her post. That is why I am saying that the investigation will decide the further course of action,” the officer explained.
    
He said ten FIRs had been registered in MP but we don't take details from every district of the state.
    
The officer rejected media reports that 40 FIRs had been registered.
    
An Indore police official had said the case was registered under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating) and 469 (forgery with intent to harm reputation) on Pathak’s complaint.
    
On Friday, Vadra claimed on 'X', formerly Twitter, that a union of contractors from Madhya Pradesh has written a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court complaining their payment is released only after paying 50 per cent commission.
    
"The corrupt BJP government in Karnataka used to collect 40% commission. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has gone ahead by breaking its own record of corruption. People of Karnataka ousted the 40% commission government, now the people of Madhya Pradesh will remove the 50% commission government from power," she alleged in the post.
    
Nath and Yadav also made similar posts.

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