Congress Amritsar candidate Capt Amarinder Singh filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday seeking inclusion of the cost of the house purchased by BJP candidate Arun Jaitely, as election expense on the grounds that it is aimed at garnering support from the people, who consider him an outsider.
The complaint filed through his Election Agent, Karanpal Singh Sekhon says, “The said house has been purchased by Arun Jaitley as a 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”.
Seeking valuation of the property purchased by Jaitley, Amarinder, in the complaint, suggests that the actual cost of the house should be much more than Rs 1 crore. He refers to the EC rules (Para 18.9.1 of the Handbook for Returning Officers, 2014), which would require such expenditure, like purchase of this house and its running expenses be reflected in the day-to-day account expense register maintained by 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,” reads the complaint. 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 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 the Section. Consequences thereof must follow and no further campaign / election expenses can take place/ be permitted,” it adds.