Vocal Election Commission silent on action on moneybags
The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court it is “seriously concerned” about the increasing use of money power in elections and continues to take steps to curb the menace.
It added that any expenditure incurred by candidates beyond the permissible limit amounted to “corrupt practices”.
However, the commission did not cite a single instance of any action it had taken against any candidate for violation of the expenditure limits — Rs 95 lakh for a Lok Sabha candidate and Rs 40 lakh for an Assembly candidate.
“The Election Commission of India has time and again adopted various measures to curb the menace of money power in elections and will continue to do so in the future,” the poll panel said in an affidavit. “(It) is seriously concerned about increasing use of money power in elections. To curb this menace, (it) has effectively and successively enforced the election expenditure monitoring mechanism in the elections since the general elections to Bihar legislative assembly, 2010.”
But instead of citing remedial actions, the poll panel focused on detailing its “robust mechanism” for monitoring election expenditure. The commission filed the affidavit in response to a notice from the apex court on a PIL plea moved by an IITian, Prabhakar Deshpande, seeking a comprehensive and robust policy against the use of money power.