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BJP and INC fail to submit Lok Sabha Election Expense Details In Time To The ECI, Despite ECI Reminders

24 October 2014 No Comment

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) are the only two National Parties which have not yet submitted details of the expenditure incurred by the parties ​during the Lok Sabha 2014 elections ​to the Election Commission of India (ECI). Among the recognised regional parties, only 24 parties out of a total of 49 parties have submitted their Lok Sabha election expenditure statements at the time of this release.

 Supreme Court Judgement regarding submission of Election Expenditure Statements by Political Parties

The Supreme Court of India, in its judgement of Common Cause Vs. Union of India, dated 4th April, 1996, had stated “…the political parties shall submit to the Election Commission, for its scrutiny, the details of the expenditure incurred or authorized by the parties in connection with the election of their respective candidates.” The Supreme Court also stated that the ECI would be justified in asking political parties to file an account of their expenditure incurred or authorised by the parties in connection with the election of its candidates during the course of elections.

Time Period within which Election Expenditure details should be submitted to the ECI

Hence, the ECI stipulated a time period of 90 days within which all National and Recognised parties need to submit the expenditure the parties incurred during Lok Sabha elections. As the results of the Lok Sabha elections were declared on 16th May, 2014, the parties should have filed their expenditure statements on or before

​ 14th of August 2014.​

​​​ECI issues Notices to defaulting Parties

According to a note on the website of the ECI, as of 8th September, 2014INC, BJP and CPI were the three defaulting National Parties along with 46 regional parties which had not filed their statements of election expenditure to the Commission.

Contents of Expenditure Statement

The expenditure statement contains details of the total amount received as funds in the form of cash, cheques and demand drafts and the total amount spent under the following heads at the central, state, district and constituency levels by the party:

·               Party propaganda

  • Travel expenses
  • Publicity expenses
  • Other expenses

·               Expenses on candidates

Political parties are required to submit these statements providing information of funds collected and spent between announcement and completion of elections.

Parties_that_defaulted_in_their_expenditure_submis

 

ECI: Unrecognised parties would be required to submit election expenses details

For the first time since the above quoted judgement of the Supreme Court, the ECI has asked the unrecognised parties, which contested in the Lok Sabha elections, 2014, to file their expenditure statements. Out of a total of 419 unrecognised parties which contested, 17 parties have submitted details of expenditure so far.

Recommendations of ADR

While it is crucial for political parties to submit their expenditure statements for greater financial transparency, it is equally important to file the same within the time limit set by the ECI and endorsed by the Supreme Court of India. The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of expenditure to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency.

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