Presentation on theme: "The Election Commission measures to combat Money Power during the next general elections (Loksabha election- 2014)"— Presentation transcript:
The Election Commission measures to combat Money Power during the next general elections (Loksabha election- 2014)
Money power in Election Without Money, Multi-party democracy cannot function Risks of Money Power: Uneven Playing field and lack of fair competition Political Exclusion – Certain sectors face disadvantage Co-Opted politicians under campaign debts Tainted Governance and Rule of Law undermined
Distribution of Cash, liquor and other articles among voters is bribery and both the giver and the taker are punishable with imprisonment up to 1 year. (Sec 171B,I P Code) It is Corrupt Practice under Sec. 123 of RP Act Candidate has to maintain a correct and true account of Election Expenditure in the manner prescribed and to lodge the Accounts in time (Section 77 & Section 78 of RP Act, 1951) Legal Framework
Contesting Candidates may be disqualified Section 10 A of R.P act, 1951 for 3 years on following grounds: Not lodging Accounts in time. Not Lodging in manner prescribed The ECI may go into correctness of accounts of Election Expenses and may disqualify the Candidate for 3 years, u/s 10A (L.R.Shivramagowde Vs. P.M. Chadrashekhar, SC)
Money Power in Election Revised Ceiling on election expenditure of the candidate for Rs 28 lakh for Assembly and Rs. 70 lakh for Lok Sabha election. (Earlier 14 Lakh and 40 Lakh respectively) If expenditure by winning candidate exceeds the ceiling, election petition to Court. No ceiling on expenditure by Political Party. Party expenditure for the candidate to be accounted for the candidate But Political Parties submit the accounts of election expense within prescribed time limit (75 days in case of assembly election and 90 days in case of Lok Sabha election)
Separate Bank Account Candidates to open separate bank account for election expenses, with any bank or Post office one day before nomination. Bank Account can be opened in joint name with the agent and candidate. Candidate can have separate agent for election expenses. To incur all expenses by A/c payee cheque if payment to a single party during election process exceeds Rs.20,000/-. To submit the Copy of the bank account along with the expenditure statements after 30 days of declaration of the result.
Register of Day-to-day accounts To maintain Day to Day Accounts of election expense ( Part-A), Cash Register and Bank Register (Part- B and Part- C) given by the RO The bills and voucher nos. to be duly serial numbered and to be lodged with DEO The register along with bank passbook to be produced before Exp. Observer for inspection After inspection, the register to be photocopied and displayed on notice board and scanned copies uploaded to CEO website Any public can get the copy of the register after inspection on payment of Re.1/- per page
Meetings with DEO and RO DEO will hold a meeting within 3 days of announcement of election with Political Parties to discuss the legal provisions and expenditure monitoring measures and to finalize the rates of items of expenditure. Facilitation training of candidates and election agents on expenditure monitoring will be done on the day of allotment of symbols. Facilitation training of all candidates /election agents before one week of submission of final accounts.
New Mechanism for Monitoring of Election Expenditure
The Expenditure Monitoring Teams
Measures for Expenditure Monitoring Identification of Expenditure Sensitive Pockets (ESPs) and Constituencies (ESCs) prone to high election expenditure on the basis of past history, profile of the constituency and other Developments. The Expenditure monitoring mechanism will be further strengthened suitably in these constituencies.
24X7 Call Centre and Complaint Monitoring System for each district Toll Free 24*7 Call Centre at CEO Delhi office An All India Toll free single number 24X7 Call Centre to receive complaints related to electoral roll. District Level Complaint Monitoring Cell with toll free number to work 24 x 7 to receive complaints and monitor action on all complaints The telephone numbers of Expenditure Observer/ Assistant Expenditure Observers to be advertised A complaint monitoring cell with toll free number by Income tax Department All calls made to the call centres shall be recorded for future verification.
Flying Squads and static Surveillance Teams Flying squads (FS) to become operational from announcement of election. FS for each Constituency with one executive magistrate, one police officer and Police Officials and one videographer to take action against all complaints Static Surveillance Teams (SST) to become operational from date decided by Commission or date of notification of election. SST and videographer to put check posts on major arterial roads. This will be supervised by the SPs, Expenditure Observers. I.G. Level Police Officer to supervise the surveillance activities of Police and send report to Commission In ESC, Police Observers from outside the state will be sent
Procedures of seizure of illegal items Criminality is determined if: Banner/poster/ voter slip/any campaign material along with cash or gift Arms or illicit items along with cash or gift ( more than Rs. 10,000) Cash(more than 50,000) in custody of any candidate / Agent/ party official being carried in a vehicle or any other modus operandi leading to crime 14
Procedures of seizure of illegal items Utmost care to ensure all politeness, decency and courtesy Seizure has to be done with proper Panchnama/ Acknowledgement The authority whom to appeal and procedure for appeal must be mentioned in the seizure order FIR to be lodged and also put in notice board of RO. Copy forwarded to SP, DEO, Exp. Observer, Nodal Officer of Police and Police Observer (If any) 15
Accounting Team for each constituency Accounting Team to maintain shadow Observation Register and folder of evidence for each candidate. Copy of DVD can be given to public after inspection To compile the reports received from all expenditure teams and enter in Shadow Observation register on the same day Expenditure Observer to intimate to candidate the excess observed expense during inspection
Media Certification and Monitoring Team For each RO, a team headed by Deputy DEO and District PRO & Staff and one nominee of Press Council of India to monitor print and electronic media and Paid News. In ‘Paid News’, the candidate to be issued notice within 96 hours by RO for not accounting the expenses and PCI informed about the Print media involved To submit daily report to the Accounting Team with respect to media advertisement expenditure by the Candidate. It will report to DEO and General Observer regarding any MCC violation
INSPECTION OF ACCOUNTS OF ELECTION EXPENDITURE Candidates to produce their accounts for Inspection 3 times or more before the Expenditure Observer The RO to notify 3 dates & timing well in advance in consultation with EO for inspection of election expenditure accounts Gap between the two inspection should not be less than 3 days and inspection to be done in such a way that major portion of expenses are covered under inspection, Candidate can have a separate agent for election expenses, Inspection to be done in the office chamber of RO or any other Office room NOT AT THE GUEST HOUSE between 10AM to 5PM, Publicity has to be given about the contact number of EO and time of inspection,
INSPECTION OF ACCOUNTS Instances of suspected Paid News will also be noted in the register, RO to issue notice to candidate on all such discrepancies and also on all advertisements / Paid News, Photocopy of the accounts maintained by the candidates to be obtained after each inspection and RO to display a copy on the notice board Any public can get a copy by depositing Re 1/- Scanned copy of register to be put in website of CEO after inspection 19
Inspection of Accounts In case of discrepancy found during inspection, notice to be issued by the R.O. within 24 hours. Candidate to reply within 48 hours. If candidate fails to reply then the disputed amount is taken as final In case the candidate accepts, the same shall be added to his expense If candidate fails to produce the accounts in spite of notice and failure continues the permission for campaign vehicle to be withdrawn.
District Expenditure Monitoring Committee (DEMC) In case the candidate disputes, the matter shall be decided by DEMC consisting of EO, DEO, Dy DEO within 72 hrs in writing and a copy will be issued to the candidate After submission of final accounts, if any item of expenditure incurred after inspection is not shown correctly in his account, DEO to issue notice within 24 hours The candidate to reply within 48 hours. DEMC to take a decision considering the reply
Other measures of Expenditure Monitoring Mechanism Bank reports of Cash withdrawal above Rs. 10 lakh. FIU to send Suspicious cash withdrawal report to Income tax Deptt. on real time basis. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence will keep watch on International Airports and Enforcement Directorate on cash movement and report suspicious instances BSF and SSB to keep greater vigil on border. Appeal by DEO to political parties, candidates and public not to carry large sum of cash.
Star Campaigner List of Star campaigners to be submitted to CEO or the Commission within 7 days of the notification Travel expense of star campaigners of allied party are not exempt (Allied party leaders not allowed exemption) If the Star campaigner travels with candidate, then 50% of the travel expense will be added to the candidate Exemption of travel expenses: If any attendant, Security Guard, Medical attendant, any representative of electronic/ print media or any person including any member of the party not being a candidate in the constituency and not playing any role in election campaign for the candidate If the candidate shares the ‘Pandal’ with the Star Campaigner or his photo or poster with his name is exhibited in the meeting, then the meeting expense will be added to his account
Star Campaigners All Passengers going by private aircrafts and helicopters will be frisked both in airports and airstrips (non - commercial). The candidate or Party shall inform about the travel plan of the aircraft or helicopter 24 hrs in advance for landing and take off in non commercial airports, to DM for security purpose. (Permission required) Candidate shall inform the RO concerned within 5 days of landing about the hiring charges paid or payable for helicopter /air craft and name of the pol. Party incase hiring charges borne by it.
Rally expenses All public rallies and Public meetings (even before notification and after announcement) to be videographed Rally expense for filing nomination to be included Public who attend the rally in their own vehicle without receiving any payment or without any flag, banner or photo of candidate not to be included Commercial vehicles used for rally to be included in expense Notional cost of fuel and driver salary of one Personal vehicle used by the candidate to be added (Notional cost of hiring in case of more than one personal vehicle used) One vehicle of district level party officer ( Not being the candidate) exempted
Printing pamphlets, banners and posters The print and electronic media, cable network and FM radio will be closely monitored Prior approval of CEO before any broadcast or telecast Press or publisher name and address, number of copies and amount charged to be mentioned in all printed material including media advertisements and sent to DEO immediately Advertisement in Print media to be covered under section 127A of RP Act,1951 (copy of the printed material and declaration from the publisher to be sent by the printer to CEO or DEO)
Monitoring of vehicles Candidates to submit before the RO details of vehicles proposed to be used and obtain permission in writing. Permission letter to be displayed on the wind screen of vehicle. Permission given to a particular candidate being used by another, vehicle to be seized and exp. For entire period to be added
Monitoring of Barricades and Rostrums DEO/RO to notify the local rates of construction of pandals or hiring of vehicles and other expenses, in consultation with the political parties before notification. If the candidate or party feels that the rates are excessive, they may take up with the DEO immediately after notification of such rates If a group of candidates are present in the rally or meeting, the expenses to be apportioned amongst all
Other Instructions If candidate attends a community kitchen, during election campaign, (other than those organised by religious communities and normal ceremonies like marriage etc,) the entire expenditure will be added as his election expenditure If the vehicle permitted to any candidate is found carrying campaign material of another candidate or being used for campaign for any other candidate, the entire expenditure on the vehicle from the date of permission will be added to the candidate and permission will be withdrawn
Other Monitoring Measures Daily Production, Distribution and Off take of liquor in the state is to be monitored and close watch over inter state border The bookings of marriage halls and Mandaps to be monitored Distribution of gift items and cash coupons to be closely monitored Unusual cash deposit/ withdrawal in account of SHGs and NGOs Disbursal of wages under ongoing Government schemes only in presence of Government officials during elections
Lodging of Accounts of election expenses Candidates to lodge their accounts of election expenses with the DEO within 30 days of declaration of result along with the register of election expenses (Under Sec78 of the RP Act,1951) Documents required to be filed: 1. Revised Abstract statement (with all schedules) signed by the candidate 2. Copy of Bank statement 3. Affidavit signed by the candidate 4. Register of Day-to-day Accounts with all bills and vouchers in original 5. Copies of expenditure related notices issued by RO and replies to such notices 6. Replies to discrepancies pointed out at the time of inspection
Consequences of Defective return or late return Disqualification under section 10A of RP Act, 1951 For late filing without good reasons, For not filing in format prescribed, For not submitting true and correct accounts.
Affidavit of asset and Liability To file Affidavit of criminal cases and Asset and Liability at the time of nomination as per revised format No column to be left blank as per recent SC judgment Affidavit to contain: I. Actual value and cost of addition to Immovable assets along with Market value II. Bank Deposits and Shares III. Actual liabilities including Govt. dues and disputed liabilities IV. PAN of self, spouse and children and Income Tax paid as per last return V. Cases pending and Conviction Orders obtained Assets and Liabilities, investments, bank accounts outside India should also be included.
Returns by Political Parties Political Parties to file their statement of election expenses with the commission within 75 days of Assembly election and 90 days for Parliamentary election. Political parties are also required to file with the Commission the list of donations in excess of Rs 20,000/- with names and address of donors (Under Sec 29C of the RP Act,1951). Political Parties are also required to file their Annual Audited Accounts with the Income Tax Department (Sec 139 of Income Tax Act, 1961) before 30th Sept.
TELEFAX NO. / ID FOR REPORTING Sh. Avinash Kumar, Under Secretary (EE Div.) - Tel: , Sh. Malay Mallick, Under Secretary (EE Div.) - Tel: , Sh. S.K. Rudola, Secretary, Fax: , ( Sh. B. B. Garg, Jt. Director, Fax: , ( In case of urgency:- Sh. P. K. Dash, DG (Exp.) Tel , Fax: , Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-01
Pledge I do swear in the name of God / do affirm that I shall uphold the purity of election process, and make all efforts to curb the pernicious effects of Money power and Muscle power, and I shall cooperate with the Commission in conduct of free, fair and clean elections 36