Lok Sabha Elections 2024: EC Mandates Timely Expenditure Reports For Candidates

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: EC Mandates Timely Expenditure Reports For Candidates

Addressing the media on Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa emphasized the significance of adhering to this mandate, highlighting the consequences for non-compliance.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Monday, April 01, 2024, 09:08 PM IST
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Election Commission of India | File pic

Lucknow: In a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process, the Election Commission has issued a directive requiring all candidates vying for seats in the Lok Sabha elections to submit expenditure statements within 30 days of the announcement of the election results.

Addressing the media on Monday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa emphasized the significance of adhering to this mandate, highlighting the consequences for non-compliance. Candidates failing to file expenditure statements risk disqualification from contesting elections for the subsequent three years, as stipulated under Section 10(A) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.

Rinwa outlined the specific requirements, noting that candidates participating in both Lok Sabha and state assembly elections must submit separate expenditure accounts detailing various expenses incurred from the date of filing nomination papers until the declaration of election results. The Election Commission has set expenditure limits at Rs 95 lakh for Lok Sabha elections and Rs 40 lakh for state assembly elections, with violations potentially constituting acts of corruption under the RP Act, 1951.

Furthermore, Rinwa highlighted the role of district election officers in determining the cost of services and goods utilized by candidates, ensuring compliance with expenditure regulations. As part of the enforcement mechanism, the Election Commission mandates the inspection of expenditure statements by designated observers, with three inspections conducted between nomination filing and result announcement. Failure to undergo scrutiny by expenditure observers may result in the withdrawal of permissions granted for vehicle use during the electoral campaign.

In related developments, Rinwa disclosed that the Election Commission received 1,395 complaints via the C Vigil app between March 16 and March 31, with 774 complaints substantiated. Notably, the average time taken to resolve complaints stood at 59 minutes, below the established standard of 100 minutes.

Rinwa attributed the swift resolution process to immediate on-site verifications conducted by flying squads upon receiving complaints, addressing a range of issues including cash distribution, unauthorized campaign activities, and inflammatory language during public gatherings.

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