The Mumbai Police have filed a case against the brother-in-law of newly-elected Mumbai North-West MP Ravindra Waikar for allegedly taking a mobile phone to a counting centre on the day of the Lok Sabha results, The Indian Express reported.

The police booked Mangesh Pandilkar under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for disobeying official orders and also under the Representation of the People Act.

Waikar, a member of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction, won the Mumbai North-West seat by defeating Amol Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) on June 4.

While initially it appeared that Kirtikar had won, Waikar demanded the recounting of votes as the margin of victory was small. After recounting the votes polled with the Electronic Voting Machines, it was found that Kirtikar had one more vote as compared to Waikar. However, re-checking the postal ballots placed Waikar ahead by 48 votes.

Waikar was eventually declared the winner, in what was the closest contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

However, after the results, Kirtikar as well as other defeated candidates alleged irregularities in the counting process. Kirtikar had alleged that while election officials had been announcing the number of votes polled after each round till the 19th cycle of counting, they stopped doing so afterwards.

“After the 26th round, they directly announced Waikar as the winning candidate,” he claimed, according to The Indian Express.

Two other candidates – Bharat Shah of the Hindu Samaj Party and Surinder Arora of the Bharat Jan Aadhar party – had also claimed that a person could be seen speaking on the phone in the counting area, in violation of the rules.

After the case against Pandilkar was filed on Wednesday, the police collected closed-circuit television camera footage from the counting centre. An inquiry reportedly showed that he did not have permission to take a phone into the area.