The Madras High Court has directed Election Commission to file an affidavit of expenses incurred for conduct of assembly elections to Aravakurichi and Thanjavur constituencies, which were cancelled in May following evidence by the poll panel of money used to bribe voters. The court passed the interim orders on petitions by PMK candidates M Baskaran, who contested from Aravakurichi and G Kunjithapatham, who contested from Thanjavur, seeking to recover all expenses from AIADMK and DMK candidates, who allegedly distributed money and gifts to the voters.
The EC had initially deferred the elections in the two constituencies in May when the state went for polls. The polls were bound to take place in June but were cancelled again. The polls will now be held on 19 November.
When the matter came up to the bench, the court directed EC to file an affidavit within four weeks, setting forth the expenses incurred for conduct of the election under different heads. The petitioners submitted that the amount expended in the election process should be recovered from the 'delinquent candidates'. They also suggested the court that the EC may file an affidavit on the money spent towards these two constituencies so that the amount is quantified. Later on, it may be debated if the amount can be recovered from the candidates or not.
Additional Solicitor General submitted that cash seized from the constituencies was deposited in the permanent deposit account and that they were awaiting some information from the tax department, which may take up about three months. The court took note of the suggestions of the petitioners, directed the EC to submit the result of enquiry in a sealed cover before it and posted the matter for further hearing on 6 March, 2017.