By LE Desk

Mumbai, May 17: The Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench has ruled that even a candidate elected unopposed would have to submit an account of election expenses.

A division bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice SP Deshmukh noted in its order that there was a trend among candidates to file nominations with much fanfare, processions and even advertisements even before scrutiny and validation of their nomination, India Today reported.

“Naturally, a lot of expenditure is involved in the same…on many occasions, candidates indulged in filing multiple nomination forms with a view to see that their candidature is not blocked or sidelined or held up on account of defect or deficiency in a form and at least one of the nomination forms would make them survive to stand in the fray,” the bench pointed out.

Stages of election generally begin with candidates purchasing nomination form, its submission and its validation by the returning officer and/or even with purchase of voters’ list before nomination, the bench noted. “However, there is a significant time lag between submission of nomination, scrutiny and validation,” the court said.

The bench further said that candidates in elections, on many occasions, make substantial arrangements for campaigning offices, grounds, advertising, payments to workers, securing voters’ lists, etc, even before the date of finalisation of nomination, which indeed involves expenditure.

“It would not be that expenses for election would be only when there would be a contest in the elections. It, thus, cannot be said in all cases that there would be no election expenses in contest-free or unopposed elections and candidates getting elected unopposed would stand exempted from tendering election expenses,” the court said.

Interpreting the provisions under the Maharashtra Village Panchayat Act, the court said the regulations were introduced by the state election commission to bring purity in polls and keep a check on financial affairs and transactions of the candidates, India Today said.

“Money, its power and influence have a strong propensity to subserve the cause of privileged class putting them indistinctly advantageous position,” the court said.

“It appears that provisions emerged due to unethical, unlawful and corrupt use of money to influence, entice, induce people rather corrupting their conscience and/or may be a case to take disadvantage of the poor condition of people forcing them to surrender their conscience and obtain votes,” it further said.

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment