New Delhi: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that the Election Commission lacks power to probe the "correctness or falsity" of expenses incurred by a candidate in the election process.
"On a plain reading of section 10A of the Representation of the People Act, the Election Commission does not have the power to look into the correctness or falsity of the return of election expenses maintained and filed by a candidate in an election," an affidavit, filed by a Law ministry official in the apex court, said.
The response of the Ministry came on a plea filed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan against a Delhi High Court order allowing the Election panel to continue with its probe into the allegation that the Congress leader had paid money to get favourable media coverage during 2009 assembly polls in the state.
The ministry, however, said that the court may examine the "effect" of a provision of the Conduct of Election Rules on the return of election expenses to be filed by a candidate.
Chavan had moved the apex court after it was ordered by the high court that the poll panel may continue with its probe on the correctness or falsity of the expenses incurred by him in the assembly election.
The poll panel, on April 2, 2011, had ordered the probe into the allegation against Chavan.