BeyondHeadlines News Desk
The Delhi High Court today issued notices to the Government of India and Election Commission of India (ECI) to file their replies on a petition regarding regulation and monitoring of the election expenditure of political parties. The next date for hearing is 28th of August 2014.
The petition, filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), requests for a process of regular submission of election expenditure statements by political parties commencing a year prior to the actual polling date till the results are declared. As has been observed in the recently concluded Lok sabha elections, political parties start their campaigning much before the polls.
Since presently there is no limit on the election expenditure of political parties, it is very difficult to ascertain the actual amount of money spent during the election campaign. The current practice of submitting election expenditure statements after 75 and 90 days of elections for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, respectively, serves no purpose because monitoring and keeping a tab on the election expenditure after 75/90 days is a herculean task.
The key recommendations made by ADR in the petition are:
- Implement the recommendation made by the 170th Law Commission Report on Electoral Reforms, with regards to the financial accountability of the Political Parties.
- Introduce ceiling on the election expenditure of political parties, on and during the elections.
- Direct the political parties to submit expenditure statements, beginning one year prior to the elections.
- Direct the political parties to submit the account statements of income and expenditure, periodically, ie. once a month before the declaration of the election, and at least once a week during the elections.