Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MLC Vilas Potnis and an armed guard have been booked for entering a vote counting centre in Mumbai’s Goregaon on the day of the Lok Sabha poll results without authorisation, PTI reported citing an unidentified official.

The incident took place while the counting of votes was underway for the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat, the official said.

Ravindra Waikar of the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction won the Mumbai North West seat. He defeated Amol Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) on June 4 by 48 votes, the closest contest in the election.

A first information report was registered against Potnis based on a complaint by Waikar, reported the Hindustan Times.

Potnis and his security guard have been booked for disobeying orders promulgated by a public servant, under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

They have also been booked for breaching the secrecy of voting under section 128 (2) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and violating the maintenance of voting secrecy under section 54 of the Conduct of Elections Act, 1961.

“I entered the counting centre unknowingly,” Potnis told PTI. “There was high security at the centre but no one stopped me. If anybody had brought it to my notice that I am not supposed to enter, I would have immediately stopped.”

Potnis added that when the returning officer called his name in the counting centre, he immediately stepped out.

The report against Potnis comes days after the Mumbai Police filed a case against Waikar’s brother-in-law, Mangesh Pandilkar, for allegedly taking a mobile phone to the counting centre on June 4.

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.

Several questions have been raised over the vote counting process at the Mumbai North West Lok Sabha seat.

While it initially appeared that Kirtikar had won, Waikar demanded a recounting of votes as the margin of victory was very slim. After recounting the votes polled with Electronic Voting Machines, it was found that Kirtikar had one more vote than Waikar. However, a recount of the postal ballots placed Waikar ahead by 48 votes.

After the results, Kirtikar as well as other defeated candidates alleged irregularities in the counting process. Kirtikar alleged that while election officials had been announcing the number of votes polled after the first 19 rounds of counting, they stopped doing so afterwards.