"Unfair elections strike at the root of democracy," Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti and Election Commissioner OP Rawat observed in their order, disqualifying the Jharkhand leader for under-reporting money that he had spent in his election.
Madhu Koda is the second prominent politician in the last three months to be disqualified by the Election Commission for tripping on the rule to accurately report election expenditure; senior Madhya Pradesh minister Narottam Mishra was the first.
Madhu Koda was elected as independent MP in 2009. He first got the notice from the Election Commission in October 2010 on the ground that he had allegedly shown the election expenses much less than the actual amount of about Rs 19 lakh.
Proceedings before the Election Commission were held up for some time because the commission faced legal challenge to its powers to disqualify candidates for misreporting their election expenditure.
The 49-page order, which relied on reports from the Income Tax department, said the account of poll expenses submitted by the Jharkhand politician was "untrue and false".