1.1 Section 77(1) of the Representation of the People Ac, 1951, provides that every candidate contesting election shall keep a correct account of all election expenditure incurred or authorized by the candidate or his election agent. The expenditure incurred on travel by leaders of a political party whose names have been communicated to the Commission and Chief Electoral Officer within 7 days from the date of issue of notification of election as required under Explanation-2 to Section 77(1) is not deemed to be expenditure incurred or authorized by a candidate of that political party for the purpose of the said section. If such intimation is not received from the party within the stipulated time, the expenditure on travel of such leaders shall be added to the candidate’s expenditure.
1.2 The Supreme Court, in its judgement in Kanwar Lal Gupta Vs. Amar Nath Chawla (A.I.R. 1975 SC 308), dated 10-04-1974 has held that the expenditure incurred by the political party which can be identified with the election of a given candidate, as distinguished from the expenditure on general party propaganda, would be liable to be added to the expenditure of that candidate as being impliedly authorized by the candidate. The expenditure incurred by a political party on advertisements, in connection with any election could be categorized into the following:
(i) Expenditure on general party propaganda seeking support for the party and its candidates in general, but, without any reference to any particular candidate or any particular class/group of candidates.
(ii) Expenditure incurred by the party, in advertisements etc., directly seeking support and / or vote for any particular candidate or group of candidates.
(iii) Expenditure incurred by the party, which can be related to the expenditure for promoting the prospects of any particular candidate or group of candidates.
1.3 Applying the ratio of the judgment in Kanwarlal Gupta’s case, it is clarified that in the case of any advertisement by political parties, whether in print or electronic or any other media, falling in category (i) above, which is not relatable to the election of any particular candidate or a given group of candidates, the expenditure may be treated as expenditure of the political party on general party propaganda. In the cases of expenditure falling in categories (ii) and (iii) above which is relatable to a particular candidate or group of candidates, the expenditure shall be treated as expenditure authorized by the candidate concerned and such expenditure shall be accounted for in the election expenditure of the said candidate or group of candidates.
1.4 The travel expenses of a leader of a political party covered under Explanation-2 to Section 77(1), will still be accounted for in the election expenditure of the candidate where such leader happens to be himself a candidate. When he goes out of his constituency to other constituencies or comes back to his own constituency from other constituencies as a star campaigner, the expenditure on his travel from his constituency to other constituencies and back would fall within the exempted category. Once he reaches his constituency and travels within his own constituency, expenditure on such travel would be liable to be accounted for by him in his election expenditure.
1.5 The lump sum amount given either in cash or in kind by the political party shall be reported by the party as well as the candidate in his day to day accounts and the abstract statement of election expenses, required to be filed within 30 days of declaration of result.
1.6 The expenditure in kind, like party posters or banners or advertisements, without the name or photograph of the candidate is to be shown as party expenditure by the political party. Even the party expenditure during the period after announcement of election by ECI and before notification of election, has to be shown by the political party as its election expenditure. The political party shall forward its election expenditure in prescribed format along with scanned soft copy to the Election Commission within 75 days of Assembly poll or 90 days of Lok Sabha poll.
1.7 The expenses after the poll and before the date of counting, which can be said to be in connection with the election shall alone be accounted for by the candidates as per section 77 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. After the poll, the expenses on travel of a Star Campaigner or a candidate (not connected with his election) shall not be added to the expenses of any candidate. If the Star Campaigner/Candidate visits his constituency, where he has contested the election, the travel expenses within the constituency for overseeing the counting arrangements before, or on the date of counting shall be added to his account. The travel expenses outside the constituency will not be added to his account. If the political party is bearing travel expenses of a Star Campaigner outside his constituency, the said expense shall be shown by the political party in the accounts submitted to the Commission within 75 days of the completion of election (Commission’s Instruction No. 76/Instructions/2012/EEPS dated 9th February, 2012). The reporting format of the Political Parties has been modified vide Commission’s letter No.76/EE/2012-PPEMS dated 21st January, 2013.
1.8 Observation of Political Party Expenditure :
The Expenditure of Political Party in General Party propaganda from the date of announcement of election till the date of declaration of result should be watched by the district authorities through the Flying Squad(s). Though the Expenditure on General Party propaganda should not be added in Candidate’s expenditure yet observations recorded with evidence should reported in the prescribed format to the CEO within 45 days of declaration of results of election.