EC notice to Koda on poll expenses

New Delhi/Ranchi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Election Commissionhas issued a show cause notice to former Jharkhand chiefminister Madhu Koda for failing to lodge "true accounts" ofhis poll campaign and spending more than 10 times of thestatutory limit during the 2009 general elections.

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

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

"You are hereby called upon to show cause why you shouldnot be disqualified under section 10A of the Representation ofPeoples Act for your failure to lodge the true accounts ofyour election expenses in the manner required by law," itsaid.

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

Koda, currently under the custody of Jharkhand Vigilancedepartment, is facing Enforcement Directorate and I-T probesfor alleged financial dealings.

The EC notice to Koda also contains details of the I-Tsearches and statements that were collated during thedepartment''s probe.

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

Koda in his poll affidavit had shown expenses of Rs 1,800for public meetings, campaign material Rs 3,12,904, campaignthrough electronic and print media Rs 6,90,430, vehicles usedRs 4,89,009 and other miscellaneous expenditure at Rs3,98,210.

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

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