EC notice to Koda on poll expenses



New Delhi/Ranchi: The Election Commission has issued a show cause notice to former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda for failing to lodge "true accounts" of his poll campaign and spending more than 10 times of the statutory limit during the 2009 general elections.

The Commission said it has found that Koda had made an expenditure of about Rs 10 crore during his election campaign against the statutory limit of Rs 25 lakh, as stipulated under the EC guidelines for Parliamentary polls.

"It transpires (from the investigation report of the Income Tax department) that the account of election expenses filed by you under Section 78 of the Representation of Peoples Act is not the correct amount of your election expenses...," the EC notice said.

"You are hereby called upon to show cause why you should not be disqualified under section 10A of the Representation of Peoples Act for your failure to lodge the true accounts of your election expenses in the manner required by law," it said.

According to the notice, the I-T department has found that Koda had spent Rs 9,32,56,259 in his election campaign while another Rs 28,01,729 was spent by him for advertisements in newspapers and Television channels.

Koda, currently under the custody of Jharkhand Vigilance department, is facing Enforcement Directorate and I-T probes for alleged financial dealings.

The EC notice to Koda also contains details of the I-T searches and statements that were collated during the department's probe.

The notice said that if Koda fails to reply within the stipulated time of 20 days then he will be "liable to be disqualified".

Koda in his poll affidavit had shown expenses of Rs 1,800 for public meetings, campaign material Rs 3,12,904, campaign through electronic and print media Rs 6,90,430, vehicles used Rs 4,89,009 and other miscellaneous expenditure at Rs 3,98,210.

The I-T department has also begun the process of raising tax demands on the former CM, officials said.

PTI