Candidates asked to file expenditure statement within 30 days of result

  • | Tuesday | 2nd April, 2024

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed all the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha election to file the statement of expenditure incurred during polls within 30 days of the announcement of the election results. Uttar Pradeshs Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa said here on Monday that the candidates were required to file the statement of expenditure to the district election officer. He said a candidate could be barred from contesting elections for the next three years in case of failure to file the statement of election expenses under Section 10(A) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951. Rinwa said candidates contesting the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections would have to file separate accounts of expenditure under different heads of expenditure from the date of filing nomination papers till the announcement of election results. He said the total expenditure incurred by a candidate should not be more than the limit set by the ECI. For Lok Sabha elections, the expenditure limit is Rs 95 lakh and Rs 40 lakh for state assembly elections.  He pointed out that expenditure in excess of the limit attracts the provision of corruption under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and such candidates can be barred from contesting elections for six years besides being penalized under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code. The CEO said that the district election officer in each district, after holding all-party meetings, had worked out the cost of services and goods to be used by the candidates. He said the election expenditure statement would have to be filed accordingly. He said as per the direction of the ECI, the inspection of statement of expenditure by the election expenditure observers was mandatory. The inspection will be made three times between the date of filing of the nomination papers and announcement of election results. The CEO said if a candidate failed to get the accounts inspected by the expenditure observer, the permission given for the use of vehicles would be withdrawn. Rinwa said from March 16, the date of announcement of election schedule, to March 31, the ECI had received 1,395 complaints on its cVIGIL app out of which 774 complaints were found to be true. He said the average time taken in disposal of complaints was 59 minutes, which was lower than the standard time of 100 minutes. He said the complaints related to distribution of cash to voters, distribution of gift coupons, alcohol, pasting of posters without permission, holding meetings without obtaining prior permission of the district election officer and use of inflammatory language in public meetings.

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