The Election Commission of India on Thursday reassured the Supreme Court that it had, time and again, adopted various measures to curb the menace of ‘money power’ in elections, such as the election expenditure monitoring mechanism in place since the 2010 Bihar Assembly elections, and “will continue to do so”. The apex court was informed that the central regulatory body, being ‘seriously concerned’ about the increasing poll spending by political parties, had already introduced a ‘robust mechanism’ to keep the election expenditure within the
statutory limit prescribed by the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and to keep a check on excess or unaccounted expenditure by political parties or their members.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, EC stated that it is seriously concerned about the increasing use of money power in elections and to curb this menace, the Election Commission of India has effectively and successively enforced the Election Expenditure Monitoring mechanism in the elections since the General Elections to Bihar Legislative Assembly, 2010. In order to keep the election expenditure within the statutory limit prescribed under Rule 90 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and also to curb excess expenditure/unaccounted expenditure, the Election Commission of India has introduced a robust mechanism for Election Expenditure Monitoring during elections which comprises– Deployment of Expenditure Observers, Assistant Expenditure Observers, Video Surveillance Teams, Video Viewing Teams, Accounting Teams, Complaint Monitoring and Call Centre, Media Certification and Monitoring Committee, Flying Squads and Static Surveillance Teams, EC apprised the top court.
EC, in its affidavit, also maintained before the Supreme Court that poll panel, which has time and again adopted various measures to curb the menace of money power in elections, will continue to do so in the future.