Amritsar, Apr 14 UNI | 4 months ago

Former chief minister and Congress candidate from Amritsar Capt Amarinder Singh today filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking to include the cost of the house the BJP candidate Arun Jaitely purchased, as election expense.

The complaint filed through his Election Agent, Karanpal Singh Sekhon says, "the said house has been purchased by Shri Arun Jaitley as part of his election campaign, in what he perceives is a fulfillment of a promise made during his campaign speeches to the electorate of Amritsar".

It adds, "the house has been purchased as an integral part of his campaign efforts and strategy to establish to the electorate of Amritsar that he is not 'an outsider' and so this ought not to be an impediment in their mind should they choose to vote for him".

It points out that the party symbols, flags and other material being affixed to his house show that it has been specifically purchased and is being used for election and compaign purpose. Suggesting that the actual cost of the house should be much more than Rs one crore, it says, this 340 square yard, five bedroom house in Green Avenue colony, which is one of the most posh colonies of Amritsar merits some verification as the market value may be many times over. Referring to the EC rules, it says, "Para 18.9.1 of the Handbook for Returning Officers, 2014 which would require that such expenditure of the purchase of this house and its running expenses be reflected in the day to day account expense register maintained by Shri Arun Jaitley, failure to do so in terms of Para 18.9.2 being a major default and an election offence under Section 171, The Indian Penal Code, 1860"

It also refers to the Section 77(3) read with Rule 99 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, which provides that the maximum election expenditure which can be expended by a candidate is Rs 70,00,000/- and violation of this would amount to a corrupt practice under Section123(6) of The Representation of People Act 1951.

"If Shri Arun Jaitley is admitting in public domain that he has purchased this house for Rs. 1 crore ( the actual value may be higher) then he is, by admission already in breach of Section Consequences thereof must follow and no further campaign / election expenses can take place/ be permitted", it adds.

(Posted on 14-04-2014)