EC to issue notice to Sonia Gandhi

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (UNI) The Election Commission is understood to have decided today to issue a notice to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi on a complaint that sought her disqualification for accepting an award from the Belgian government in November 2006.

A complaint had been filed with the then President APJ Abdul Kalam against Ms Gandhi on the grounds that while accepting the award, the Congress chief had to sign her allegiance to Belgium.

The honour 'Order of Leopold', which is the second highest civilian award in Belgium, was conferred on Ms Gandhi for her contribution towards building a more tolerant society.

According to sources, the decision to issue the notice was taken after hectic and prolonged deliberations. The three-member Commission took the decision 2-1.

Split verdicts are rare in the Commission which usually decides with consensus.

The Election Commission also decided to seek details of the award from the Ministry of External Affairs and whether it violated any norms of the Indian Constitution.

UNI NAZ SB RAI2311

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