The Election Commission has disqualified 2,171 candidates who contested by-elections/general elections to the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies and Councils for failing to submit their poll expenditure accounts within the stipulated 30 days from the date of announcement of results.

These persons, most of them non-serious contestants, will be barred from contesting any election conducted by the EC for three years from the date of its disqualification order, issued under Section 8A read with 11 (A) (2) and 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Some of the candidates have been disqualified till January 2016. Maharashtra tops the list with 260 contestants, followed by Chhattisgarh (259) and Haryana (197). In Delhi, 29 candidates have been disqualified.

Though some of the contestants filed their returns within time, it was not done in the proper format, informed sources said.

The EC, in a letter sent to the Chief Electoral Officers, asked them to furnish a copy of the list of disqualified candidates to the respective returning officers. The list is also posted on the Commission’s website www.eci.nic.in under the heading judicial reference-list of disqualified persons.

Before disqualifying them, notices had been issued to the candidates and the order was passed only against those who failed to give satisfactory reasons for the delay/failure.

Though the State Election Commissions (SEC) normally adopt the EC’s rules and procedures, the disqualification order could not restrain these contestants from contesting the local body/civic polls. For, the SEC is independent of the EC and the disqualification order would not apply automatically to local polls, it is said.

The disqualified candidates who wish to go in for an appeal will have to submit a petition to the EC with proper reasons for their failure to submit accounts/delay.

In September 2009, the EC disqualified as many as 3,275 contestants.

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