Chief Electoral Officer Narinder Chauhan said that Election Commission of India had issued instructions for contesting candidate to open a separate bank account a day before they file nomination papers. He was presiding over Election Expenditure Monitoring meeting here today in which representatives of various banks and Post Offices were present.
Chief Electoral Officer said that the Commission would appoint Expenditure Observers and Assistant Expenditure Observers to monitor the election expenditure of the contesting candidates. Bankers would provide daily report on unusual and suspicious cash withdrawal or deposits of cash exceeding Rs. one lac by any individual. They would also report on unusual and suspicious Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transfers cash exceeding Rs. one lac. Unusual or suspicious cash withdrawal or deposits of cash by candidate, or spouse or their dependents, as per affidavit filed by the candidate would also reported by the bankers. The Bankers would provide daily report on unusual and suspicious cash withdrawal or deposits of cash in Political Party’s account including agent of candidate. He said that the information could be sent to District Election Officer (Deputy Commissioner) on unusual and suspicious transactions above Rs. 10 Lacs.
Narinder Chauhan said the account could be opened in candidate’s name or in joint name with his election agent but it could not be opened in joint name with any family members of the candidate or any other person, if he was not an election agent. He said that this account could be opened anywhere in the State and it could also be opened in State Co-operative Bank or in Post Office.
He said that contesting candidate should not use existing bank account for election purposes. He further said that the crossed account payee cheques would be issued by the candidate for any item of expenditure exceeding Rs. 20,000.
He said that the comprehensive instructions for the purpose of effective monitoring of election expenditure of candidates had been issued which included formation of flying squad, video surveillance teams, and involvement of Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Deptt. Etc. and these instructions were a vailable at ECI website.