The Secretary, State Election Commission said here today that the Commission has appointed Returning Officer-cum- Deputy Commissioner, Shimla as authorised officer with whom election expenses shall be lodged by every contesting candidates under Section 13B of the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994.

He said that every contesting candidates or his authorised agent can incur expenditure upto a maximum limit of Rs. one lakh for the post of Councillor and Rs. three lakh for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor under rule 48 of the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Rules, 2012. He said that the account of expenditure shall be kept in a register as per the form No. 28. He said that all expenditure by the candidates or his authorised election agent on all the items of expenditure maintained in Form-28 shall be included in the aforesaid account of election expenditure. All documents such as vouchers, receipts, acknowledgement etc. in support of expenditure incurred and recorded in register shall be maintained correctly, he added.

The Secretary said that account of all expenditure in connection with the election incurred between the date on which a person has been nominated and the date of declaration of results thereof, both days inclusive, have to be available to the Returning Officer or any other officer authorised by him for inspection at any time during the process of elections. He said that every contesting candidates or by his election agent or by an other person with his authority, within thirty days from the date of declaration of results of Municipal Corporation shall lodge with the Returning Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner an account of election expenses failing which it will be treated as corrupt practice under Section 21 of Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1994. The Returning Officer Shimla will supply relevant forms for this purpose to the candidates at the time of filing of nomination papers by the contestants, he added.

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