EC to set up unit to verify affidavits


Addressing a seminar on electoral reforms here, Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi said Income Tax officers would be made members of the Expenditure Monitoring Unit so that they could scrutinise the documents filed by candidates and examine the authenticity of the information.

“We are not able to monitor whether the affidavits filed by candidates regarding financial assets and liabilities or the expenditure statements are true or false or whether there is exaggeration or suppression of information,” Quraishi said.
“Therefore, we have decided to set up the new division which will start functioning within two to three months,” he said.

Raising the issue of the present system in the Commission, he said there were certain flaws with regard to the autonomy status enjoyed by the commissioners, and it can be corrected through constitutional amendments only.
Quraishi said though Election Commission (Condition of Service of Election Commissions and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991 has made it very clear that chief election commissioner and election commissioners are equal in every way, necessary amendments have not been carried out as yet.

He also lamented that the EC has little power to check “bogus parties” from registering.

“Although we have powers to register political parties, we do not have powers to de-register them. It is very strange. Now we have 1,000 political parties and the number is increasing by 80 to 100 every year,” he said. 

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