Exercising power under para 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968 the Election Commission of India has suspended the recognition of the National People’s Party, a recognized state party in Meghalaya due to its failure in filing the election expenditure statement of the party.
In pursuance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of Common Cause Vs Union of India and others (AIR-1996 SC 3081), the ECI had earlier issued instructions to all political parties, to file their election expenditure statement within 75 days of assembly general elections and 90 days of Lok Sabha general elections. The general election to Lok Sabha, 2014 and elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim, 2014 was completed on 28th May, 2014 and as per the Commission’s instructions, the political parties were required to submit their election expenditure statements in connection with the above elections by 26th August, 2014.
The Commission had issued two reminders to the National People’s Party to submit the required statement for Lok Sabha election 2014 after the due date had long expired, on 26th August 2014.
Finally, the Election Commission issued a notice on 17th March 2015 to the party to showcause as to why action should not be taken under para 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment ) Order 1968 for failure to follow the lawful directions and instructions of the Commission;
On receipt of the Notice, the National People’s Party had requested time to submit its expenditure statement by 15th April 2015 and again for time up to by 15 May 2015 but failed to honor the deadline and did not file the expenditure statement of the party.
It may be mentioned that it is the first case that recognition of a party has been suspended by the Commission under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, for its failure to follow the Lawful directions of the Commission.
Election Commission of India