- (1) An elector who has inadvertently so spoilt his ballot paper that it cannot be used as a valid ballot paper may, upon proving the fact of inadvertence to the satisfaction of the Presiding Officer and returning the ballot paper to him, obtain another ballot paper and cast his vote by such other ballot paper.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall forthwith cancel the ballot paper returned to him under clause (1), make a note to that effect on the counterfoil over his own signature and sign the cancelled ballot paper, and place it in a separate packet labelled “Spoilt Ballot Papers”.
- No person shall be given any ballot paper or be permitted to vote after the hour fixed for the close of the poll except the persons who at that hour are present within the building room, tent or enclosure in which the polling station is situated and have not voted but are waiting to vote.
- (1) Immediately after the close of the poll, that is, as soon as the last of such persons, if any, as are present and waiting to vote as mentioned in Article 35, has voted, the Presiding Officer shall, in the presence of such of the contesting candidates, election agents and polling agents as may be present, proceed with the count of votes.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall give such of the contesting candidates, election agents and polling agents as may be present, reasonable facility of observing the count and give them such information with respect thereto as can be given consistently with the orderly conduct of the count and the discharge of his duties in connection therewith.
(3) No person other than the Presiding Officer, the Polling Officer, any other person on duty in connection with the poll, the contesting candidates, 93[election agents, polling agents and election observers shall be allowed to remain] present at the count.
(4) The Presiding Officer shall-
(a) open the used ballot box or ballot boxes and count the entire lot of ballot papers taken out therefrom;
(b) open the packed labelled “challenged ballot papers” and include the ballot papers therein the count;
(c) count, in such manner as may be prescribed, the votes cast in favour of each contesting candidate excluding from the count the ballot papers which bear-
(i) no official mark;
(ii) any writing or any mark other than the official mark and the prescribed mark or to which a piece of paper or any other object of any kind has been attached;
(iii) no prescribed mark indicating the contesting candidate for whom the elector has voted; or
(iv) any mark from which it is not clear for whom the elector has voted, provided that a ballot paper shall be deemed to have been marked in favour of a candidate if the whole or more than half of the area of the prescribed mark appears clearly within the space containing the name and symbol of that candidate; and where the prescribed mark is divided equally between two such spaces, the ballot paper shall be deemed not to show clearly for whom the elector has voted.
(5) The Presiding Officer may recount the votes┬¼-
(a) of his own motion if he considers it necessary; or
(b) 94[upon the request in writing] of a contesting candidate or an election agent or polling agent present if, in his opinion, the request is not unreasonable.
(6) The valid ballot papers cast in favour of each contesting candidate shall be put in separate packets and each such packet shall be sealed and shall contain a certificate as to the number of ballot papers put in it and shall also indicate the nature of the contents thereof, specifying the name and symbol of the contesting candidate to whom the packet relates.
(7) The ballot papers excluded from the count shall be put in a separate packet indicating thereon the total number of ballot papers contained therein.
(8) The packets mentioned in clause (6) and (7) shall be put in a principal packet which shall be seated by the Presiding Officer.
(9) The Presiding Officer shall, immediately after the count, prepare a statement of the count in such form as may be prescribed showing therein 95[,in both words and figures,] the number of valid votes polled by each contesting candidate and the ballot paper excluded from the count.
(10) The Presiding Officer shall also prepare in the prescribed form a ballot paper account showing separately-
(a) the number of ballot papers entrusted to him;
(b) the number of ballot papers taken out of the ballot box or boxes and counted;
(c) the number of tendered ballot papers;
(d) the number of challenged ballot papers;
(e) the number of un issued ballot papers; and
(f) the number of spoilt ballot papers.
96[(11) The Presiding Officer shall, on application, give a certified copy of the statement of the count and the ballot-paper account, showing the numbers in both words and figures, to such of the candidates, their election agents or polling agents as may be present, and obtain a receipt for such copy, and if any such person refuses to give any receipt, the Presiding Officer shall record that fact.]
(12) The Presiding Officer shall seal in separate packets-
(a) un issued ballot papers;
(b) spoilt ballot papers;
(c) tendered ballot papers;
(d) challenged ballot papers;
(e) the marked copies of the electoral rolls;
(f) counterfoils of used ballot papers;
(g) the tendered votes list;
97[(gg) ballot box issue forms showing the total number of ballot boxes issue and used.]
(h) the challenged votes list; and
(i) such other papers as the Returning Officer may direct.
98[(13) The Presiding Officer shall obtain on each statement and packet prepared under this Article the signature of such of the contesting candidates or their election agents or polling agents as may be present, and if any such person refuses to sign, the Presiding Officer shall record that fact.]
(14) A person entitled to sign a packet or statement under clause (13) may, if he so desires, also affix his seal to it.
(15) After the close of the proceedings under the foregoing clause the Presiding Officer shall, in compliance with such instructions as may be given by the Commission in this behalf, cause the packets, the statement of the count and the ballot paper account prepared by him to be sent to the Returning Officer together with such other records as the Commission may direct 99[, and shall also send a copy of the statement of the count to the Commission by post.]
- (1) The Returning Officer shall give the contesting candidates and their election agents a notice in writing of the day, time and place for the consolidation of the results and, in the presence of such of the contesting candidates and election agents as may be present, consolidate in the prescribed manner the results of the count furnished by the Presiding Officer, including, therein the postal ballots received by him before the time aforesaid.
(2) Before consolidating the results of the count, the Returning Officer shall examine the ballot papers excluded from the count by the Presiding Officer and, if he finds that any such ballot paper should not have been so excluded, count it as a ballot paper cast in favour of the contesting candidate for whom the vote has been cast thereby.
(3) The Returning Officer shall also count the ballot papers received by him by post in such manner as may be prescribed and include the votes cast in favour of each contesting candidate in the consolidated statement except those which he may reject on any of the grounds mentioned in clause (4) of Article 36.
(4) The ballot papers rejected by the Returning Officer under clause (3) shall be shown separately in the consolidated statement.
(5) The Returning Officer shall not recount the valid ballot papers in respect of any polling station unless-
(a) the count by the Presiding Officer is challenged in writing by a contesting candidate or his election agent and the Returning Officer is satisfied about the reasonableness of the challenge; or
(b) he is directed so to do by the Commission.
- Where, after consolidation of the results of the count under Article 37, it is found that there is equality of votes between two or more contesting candidates and the addition of one vote for one such candidate would entitle him to be declared elected, the Returning Officer shall forthwith draw a lot in respect of such candidates, and the candidate on whom the lot falls shall be deemed to have received the highest number of votes entitling him to be declared elected. The lot shall be drawn in the presence of such of the contesting candidates and their election agents as may be present. The Returning Officer shall record the proceedings in writing, and obtain thereon the signature of such candidates and election agents as have been witness to the proceeding.
- (1) The Returning Officer shall, after obtaining the result of the count under Article 37 or of the drawal of the lot under Article 38, declare by public notice the contesting candidate who has or is deemed to have received the highest number of votes to be elected.
(2) The public notice shall contain the name of, and the total number of votes received by, each contesting candidate 100[as a result of consolidation under Article 37 or drawal of lot under Article 38].
(3) The Returning Officer shall, immediately after publication of the notice under clause (1), submit to the Commission a return of the election in the prescribed form together with a copy of the consolidated statement.
(4) The Commission shall publish in the official Gazette the name of the returned candidate.
- The Returning Officer shall-
(a) immediately after preparing the consolidated statement and the return of election result in the prescribed manner the packets and statement opened by him for the purpose of consolidation permitting such of the candidates and their election agents, as may be present to sign the packets and affix their seals to such packets if they so desire; and
(b) supply duly attested copies of the consolidated statement and the return of election to such of the candidates and their election agents as may desire to have them.
- (1) After the termination of the proceedings relating to an election under Article 17 where the proceedings have been so terminated, or after the declaration of the result of an election under Article 19, or Article 39, the deposit made under Article 13 in respect of any candidate shall be returned to the person making it or to his legal representative except the deposit in respect of a candidate who has received less than one eighth of the total number of votes cast at the election.
(2) A deposit which is not required to be returned under clause (1) shall be forfeited to the Government.
- (1) The Returning Officer shall retain on behalf of the Commission-
(a) the packets containing the ballot papers each of which shall be sealed with the seal of the Presiding Officer, or, if opened by the Returning Officer, with the seal of the Returning Officer;
(b) the packets containing the counterfoils of issued ballot papers;
(c) the packets containing the marked copies of the electoral rolls;
(d) the packets containing the ballot paper account;
(e) the packet containing the tendered ballot papers, the challenged ballot papers, the tendered votes list and the challenged votes list; and
(f) such other papers as the Commission may direct.
(2) The Returning Officer shall endorse on each packet retained under clause (1) the description of its contents, the date of the election to which the contents relate and the name and number of the constituency for which the election was held.
(3) The documents contained in the packets mentioned in clause (1) shall be retained for a period of one year, and thereafter the Commission shall, unless otherwise directed by the High Court Division, cause them to be destroyed.
- The documents retained under Article 42, except the ballot papers, shall be open to public inspection at such time and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, and the Returning Officer shall, upon an application made in this behalf and on payment of such fee and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, furnish copies of, or extracts from, those documents.
- (1) The High Court Division may order the opening of packets of counterfoils and certificates or the inspection of any counted ballot papers.
(2) An order under clause (1) may be made subject to such conditions as to persons, time, place and mode of inspection, production of documents and opening of packets as the High Court Division making the order may think expedient:
Provided that in making and carrying into effect an order for the inspection of counted ballot papers, care shall be taken that no vote shall be disclosed until it has been held by the High Court Division to be invalid.
(3) Where an order is made under clause (1), the production by the Returning Officer of any document in such manner as may be directed by the order shall be conclusive evidence that the document relates to the election specified in the order, and any endorsement or any packet of ballot papers so produced shall be Prima facie evidence that the ballot papers are what the endorsement states them to be.
4) The production from proper custody of a ballot paper purporting to have been used at an election, and of a counterfoil having a number, shall be Prima facie evidence that the elector whose vote was given by that ballot paper was the elector who had on the electoral roll the same number as was written on the counterfoil.
(5) Save as in this section provided, no person shall be allowed to inspect any rejected or counted ballot paper in the possession of the Returning Officer.
44A. In this Chapter, “election expenses” means any expenditure incurred or payment made, whether by way of gift, loan, advance, deposit or otherwise, for the arrangement, conduct or benefit of, or in connection with, or incidental to, the election of a candidate, including the expenditure on account of issuing circulars or publications or otherwise presenting to the electors the candidate or his views, aims or objects, but does not include the deposit made under Article 13.
44AA. (1) 102[At the time of submitting the nomination paper, every contesting candidate shall submit to the Returning Officer,] a statement, in the prescribed form, of the probable sources of fund to meet his election expenses showing-
(a) the sum to be provided by him from his own income and the sources of such income;
(b) the sum to be borrowed, or received as voluntary contribution, from his relations and the sources of their income;
(c) the sum to be borrowed, or received as voluntary contribution, from any other person;
(d) the sum to received as voluntary contribution from any political party, organisation or association;
(e) the sum to be received from any other source 103[:
Provided that the provisions of sub-clauses (a) to (e) shall not apply to a case where the amount of such sum is not more than taka five thousand to be received as voluntary contribution or grant.]
Explanation – In this clause, “relations” mean spouse, parents, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.
(2) The statement under clause (1) shall be accompanied by a statement, in the prescribed form, of the contesting candidate’s assets and liabilities and his annual income and expenditure and, if he is an income tax assessee, a copy of the income-tax return last submitted by him.
(3) A copy of the statement submitted under clause (1), together with a copy of the statement and the return mentioned in clause (2), shall be sent by the contesting candidate to the Commission by registered post at the time of their submission to Returning Officer.
(4) If the contesting candidate receives any sum from any source other than any of the sources mentioned in his statement submitted under clause (1), he shall, 104[ with the return under clause (1) of Article 44C ] , submit a supplementary statement to the Returning Officer showing the sum so received and the source from which it is received, and a copy of such statement shall be sent by him to the Commission by registered post at the time of its submission to the Returning Officer.
44B. (1) No person shall, except to the extent provided in clause (2), make any payment whatsoever towards the election expenses of a candidate except to the election agent of such candidate.
(2) No person other than the election agent of a contesting candidate shall incur any election expenses of such candidate:
105[* * *]
(ii) any person may, if so authorised by the election agent in writing specifying a maximum amount, to the extent of such amount, make payment for stationery, postage, telegram and other petty expenses.
(3) The election expenses of a contesting candidate, including the expenditure incurred for him by the political party which has nominated him as its candidate, shall not exceed taka 106[107[twenty five] lakh:] 108[:
Provided further that the election expenses of a contesting candidate shall be determined per capita on the basis of total number of electors in a constituency and a notification to that effect shall be published in the official Gazette.]
(3A) The amount of the money mentioned in clause (3) or any portion thereof shall not be utilised for-
(a) printing of a poster with more than one colour; or
109[(aa) printing of a poster of a size bigger than the size prescribed or specified by the Commission; or]
(d) setting up a pandal covering an area of more that four hundred square feet; or
(e) making any banner by using any cloth; or
(f) employing or using more than three microphones or loudspeakers at a time in a constituency; or
(g) commencing election publicity in any manner at any time three weeks prior to the date fixed for the poll; or
111[(h) setting up more than one election camp or office in any union or in any ward of a municipality or city, or more than one central election camp or office in any constituency; or
(hh) entertainment of electors in any manner; or]
(i) using any vehicle or vessel such as, truck, bus, car, taxi, motor cycle and speed-boat, for taking out any procession; or
112[(ii) hiring or using any vehicle or vessel of any kind for conveying electors to or from any polling station; or]
(j) illumination by use of electricity in any form; or
(k) using symbol or portrait of a candidate with more than one colour; or
(l) display of a symbol exceeding the size prescribed by the Commission. 113[; or
(m) writing in ink or paint or in any manner whatsoever as means of advertisement for propogating election campaign 114[; or]
115[(n) to operate camps on the polling day.]
116[(3B) Any money utilized in violation of any provision of clause (3A) shall be deemed to be election expenses incurred by the contesting candidate concerned in excess of the amount mentioned in clause (3) and shall be deemed to be a contravention of Article 44B.]
(4) Any candidate incurring personal expenditure and any person making any payment under clause (2) shall, within 117[seven days] of the declaration of the result of the election, send to the election agent a statement of such expenditure or particulars of such payment.
(5) An election agent shall, by a bill stating the particulars and by a receipt, vouch for every payment made in respect of election expenses except where the amount is less than Taka 118[one hundred].
119[44BB. Every election agent or, where there is no such agent, the contesting candidate shall-
(a) open as separate account with a scheduled bank for the purpose of making payments of the election expense, other than personal expenditure, that may be incurred in pursuance of the provisions of Article 44B;
(b) make from that account all payments towards the said election expense, other than personal expenditure.]
44C. (1) Every election agent of a contesting candidate shall, within 120[thirty days] after the publication of the name of the returned candidate under Article 19, or Article 39, submit to the Returning Officer a return of election expenses in the prescribed form containing-
(a) a statement of all payments made by him 121[each day] together with all the bill and receipts;
122[(aa) a statement certified by the scheduled bank refered to in clause (a) of article 44BB showing the amount deposited in and withdrawn from the account opened under that clause;]
(b) a statement of the amount of personal expenditure, if any, incurred by the contesting candidate;
(c) a statement of all disputed claims of which the election agent is aware;
(d) a statemer of all unpaid claims, if any, of which the election agent is aware;
123[(e) a statement of all sums received from any sources, together with evidence of such receipts, for the purpose of election expenses, specifying the name of every such source.]
(2) The return submitted under clause (1) shall be accompanied by an affidavit sworn severally by the contesting candidate and his election agent or, where a contesting candidate is his own election agent, only by such candidate.
124[(3) A copy of return submitted under clause (1), together with a copy of the affidavit mentioned in clause (2), shall be sent by the election agent to the Commission by registered post at the time of their submission to the Returning Officer.]
44CC. (1) Every political party setting up any candidate for election shall maintain proper account of all its income and expenditure for the period from the date of publication of notification under clause (1) of Article 11 till the completion of elections in all the constituencies in which it has set up candidates and such account shall show clearly the amount received by it as donation above 125[taka five thousand] from any candidate or any person seeking nomination or from any other person or source giving their names and addresses and the amount received from each of them and the mode of receipt.
(2) The funds of every such political party shall be deposited and maintained in any scheduled bank.
(3) No such political party shall expend during the aforesaid period for election purposes, including election expenses for the contesting candidates set up by it, an amount exceeding-
(a) where the number of such candidates is more than two hundred, 126[taka four crore and fifty lakh],
(b) where the number of such candidates is more than one hundred but not more than two hundred, 127[taka three crore],
(c) where the number of such candidates is, 128[ more than fifty but not more than one hundred, taka one crore and fifty lakh] 129[,
(d) where the number of such candidates is not more than fifty, taka seventy five lakh:
Provided that the amount mentioned in sub-clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) shall be subject to maximum taka one lakh and fifty thousand per candidate130[:
Provided further that the expenditure incurred by the party chief for travelling to various constituencies for the purposes of election campaign shall be excluded.]]
(4) No such political party shall receive any donation amounting to more than 131[taka twenty thousand] unless it is made by cheque.
(5) If any political party contravenes any provision of this Article, it shall be punishable with fine which may extend to taka ten lakh.
44CCC. (1) Every political party nominating any candidate for election shall submit to the 132[Commission, for its scrutiny, within ninety days] of the completion of election in all constituencies, an expenditure statement giving details of the expenses incurred or authorised by it in connection with the election of its candidates for the period from the date of publication of the notification under clause (1) of Article 11 till the completion of elections in all the constituencies in which it has set up candidates.
(2) The expenditure mentioned in clause (1) shall include, to be shown separately, expenditure incurred on general propagation of the manifesto, policy, aims and objects of the party and expenditure incurred or authorized in connection with the election of each of its contesting candidates.
(3) 133[Every statement submitted under clause (1) shall be certified to be correct and complete by the secretary to the party, showing] the opening balance of the party funds on the date of publication of the notification under clause (1), of Article 11, the closing balance of the funds on the date of completion of election in all constituencies and the total amount received by the party, as donation or otherwise, during the period between the said two dates.
135[(5) If any registered political party fails to submit its expenditure statement within the time specified in clause (1), the Commission shall issue a notice of warning directing it to submit the statement within thirty days and if the concerned registered political party fails to submit it within that period of time, the Commission may, subject to payment of a fine of taka ten thousand, extend the time for another fifteen days, and if such registered political party fails to submit its statement within that extended time, the Commission may cancel its registration.]
136[44D.(1) The statement, return and documents submitted under Articles 44AA, 44C and 44CCC shall be kept by the Returning Officer or the Commission, as the case may be, in his or its office or at such other convenient place as he or it may think fit and shall, during one year from the date of receipt, be open for inspection by any person on payment of the prescribed fees.
(2) The Commission or the Retuning Officer shall, on an application made in this behalf and on payment of the prescribed fees, give any person copies of any statement, return or document or any part thereof kept under clause (1).
(3) The copies of the statements, return or documents under clause (1) shall be published in the website of the Commission.]