The EC decision under the Representation of People’s Act 1951 came in a 49-page order on Wednesday.
New Delhi: The election commission has disqualified former chief minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda from contesting polls for three years over his failure to file proper election expenses.
The EC decision under the Representation of People’s Act 1951 came in a 49-page order on Wednesday. The case pertains to Mr Koda’s poll expenses during 2009 elections.
The commission held Mr Koda responsible for publishing certain articles in newspapers and advertorials in newspapers during polls, which came under the purview of paid news. “Unfair elections strike at the root of democracy. With a mass media oriented campaign, any candidate can effectively polarise a decidedly large proportion of votes towards him. Undecided voters, instead of being able to decide on the candidate’s merit, fall victim to the bandwagon effect,” the EC said in its order.
The commission concluded that Mr Koda should be disqualified from contesting polls as “honest and law-abiding candidates should not be sidelined by those willing to contravene the law and distort the lines of morality for the sake of being elected to the Parliament or state legislatures”.
Following an interim stay by the Supreme Court, the election commission had earlier deferred hearing into a complaint of “paid news” against the former Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
According to the reports and records submitted by the Income-Tax Department and the enforcement directorate to the EC, his election expenditure was much higher than what was shown by him.