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Sunday, December 3, 2023
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Every candidate to maintain day to day election expenditure account: Dr Dalip Singh


aryana State Election Commission has superseded the Haryana Municipal Corporation Expenditure (Maintenance and submission of accounts) Order, 2017 dated May 18, 2017 and further issued new orders, ‘Haryana Municipal Corporation Election Expenditure (Maintenance and submission of accounts) Order, 2018’. These orders would extend to the whole of Haryana in relation to elections in Municipal Corporation. While stating this here today, State Election Commissioner, Dr Dalip Singh said that for the purpose of this Order, every contesting candidate at an election would have to maintain the day to day election expenditure account in accordance with the procedure laid in the order. The Returning Officer would, in writing, give a notice to the contesting candidate regarding maintenance of Election Expenditure account.

As per the procedure, a register in a standard proforma would be issued to each candidate by the Returning Officer immediately after his nomination for keeping day to day record of expenditure. The register would be duly authenticated by the Returning Officer at the time of issue. All day to day account would be faithfully recorded in this register and in no other document by the candidate or his agent authorised by him on this behalf. All the documents such as vouchers, receipts, acknowledgements in support of the expenditure incurred would be obtained from day to day as the expenditure is incurred and maintained in the correct chronological order along with the register.

He said that the register along with the supporting documents would be made available for inspection at any time during the process of election by the Deputy Commissioner, Returning Officer, Election Expenditure Observer appointed by the Commission or any other such authority nominated by the Commission in this behalf. Failure to produce this register on demand by the authority will be considered as a major default, he added.

Dr Singh said that each candidate would also maintain account of election expenditure in the proforma for showing the total expenditure on various items listed therein and would within 30 days from the date of declaration of the result of the election lodged with the Deputy Commissioners or any other officer, in duplicate, as authorized by the State Election Commission (SEC) by his election agent in the proforma. The Deputy Commissioner or any other officer as authorized by the SEC would check account of election expenses and a copy of election expenditure statement submitted by the candidates would be sent to the Commission within seven days from the date of filling such account and the list of contesting candidates who had not submitted their account of election expenses in time and who have made excess expenditure beyond of expenditure limit fixed by the SEC.

The Deputy Commissioner or the officer authorized, within two days from the date on which the account of election expenses have been lodged by a candidate, cause a notice to be affixed to the notice board of this office specifying the date on which the account has been lodged, the name of the candidate and the time and place at which such accounts can be inspected. Any person would, on payment of a fee of Rupees five, be entitled to inspect any such account and on payment of such fee, as may be fixed by the SEC in this behalf be entitled, to obtain attested copies of such account or of any part thereof.

The State Election Commissioner said that while lodging the account of election expenditure the candidate would file the prescribed register as a part of the record.

Each candidate while lodging the returns of his election expenditure would also file an affidavit on oath that the expenditure shown as nil, if any, on items listed in the proforma or left blank therein, has not been incurred by him. The affidavit would also clearly state that all election expenditure on listed items relating thereto has been completely and unexceptionally included in the return and there is nothing that has not been disclosed.

Since the return of election expenditure filed by a candidate has to reflect ‘correct’ account of ‘all’ election expenses, the Deputy Commissioner or the officer authorized, before accepting the account of the candidate, would conduct such enquiry as he deems necessary and at the time of communicating his report to the Commission, certify to the Commission with reference to the documents filed before him and as verified by him through an appropriate enquiry that the statement of accounts is in the manner prescribed. The Commission intends to super-check the authenticity of the returns filed through the said procedure and would hold the candidate personally responsible for any lapse or misrepresentation.

Dr Singh said that if the SEC is satisfied that a person has failed to lodge an account of election expenses within the time and in the manner required and has no good reason or justification for the failure, the SEC would by order published in the Official Gazette, declare him to be disqualified and such person would be disqualified for a period of five years from the date of the order under Section 8E of the Act. He said that these directions are absolutely mandatory and cannot be locally ordered or modified in any manner without prior written approval of the Commission. The Deputy Commissioner will not be competent to permit any relaxation. Dr Dalip Singh has also intimated that election expenditure limit for Mayor has been fixed Rs 20 Lacs and for Councillor is Rs 5 Lacs.

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