SC push for electoral reforms: Candidates now have to declare source of income as well

The landmark order is intended to bring in more transparency in the poll process and comes ahead of elections scheduled to several states. So far, candidates only needed to reveal their income, not the sources.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 16, 2018 10:02 pm
Supreme court electoral reforms verdict source of income The Supreme Court of India in a landmark order said that candidates now have to declare their sources of income too. (File photo)

Candidates contesting polls will now have to disclose their sources of income and that of their family members. The Supreme Court on Friday allowed a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari which sought a direction to this effect. The landmark order is intended to bring in more transparency in the poll process and comes ahead of elections scheduled to several states. So far, candidates only needed to reveal their income, not the sources.

S N Shukla, the general secretary of the NGO, had contended that candidates while filing their nomination papers, declare their assets, assets of their spouse, children and other dependents, but they do not reveal the sources of income. He sought a direction to include a column in the nomination form to list details of a candidate’s sources of income.

During the hearing, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had told the court in an affidavit that a “prima facie verification” of election affidavits of MPs and MLAs by the Director General of Income Tax has “indicated discrepancies” in income disclosure made by seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 MLAs, the Supreme Court was told on Monday.

This came in response to a direction by the court seeking details of action initiated against lawmakers, some of whose assets had seen a quantum jump between two elections.

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) that works for electoral reforms and was a party in the matter, assets of four current Lok Sabha MPs had increased by 12 times while 22 others declared five-fold increase in their assets.

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  1. Kushal Kumar
    Feb 17, 2018 at 9:47 am
    This direction of SC can be found implied in this Vedic astrology writer’s prediction in article - “Astrologically speaking , some highlights for India in coming year 2018” - published last year at theindiapost , simultaneously at wionews on 19 October , 2017. The related text of the prediction in said article reads as here :- “ The year 2018 looks to be bringing to focus themes of political , religious or spiritual nature for a heightened or sharp analysis or discussion. Such analysis or discussion could also pave way for new enactments or judicial pronouncements having far reaching significance or value , covering issues related to women , religion and political class”.
    1. Dharmalingam Chandran
      Feb 17, 2018 at 7:19 am
      The affidavits carrying statements relating to the disclosure of ’ personal information and those about their assets, that are now obtained by the Election Commission from the contesting , do not seem to be serving the real purposes for which they are secured. In the absence of sound mechanism to verify the correctness or otherwise of the declaration as to a candidate’s assets details, these affidavits will serve more as paper-trash assets for the Election Commission, occupying sufficient space in their offices and election time fee-churning blessing for the certifying notaries to make hay while the sun shines. Have the nomination papers of any of the candidate been rejected so far based on discrepancies found on the disclosure as to the personal assets of individual candidate ? What about benami transactions ? Be assured, by the time any discrepancy is found on the assets disclosure, the candidate would have completed his full tenures in a few elections!
      1. V
        V B Lal
        Feb 16, 2018 at 11:01 pm
        Our MPs and MLAs, the supposed representatives of the people, are the Achilles' heel of our otherwise strong democracy. The criteria for election to these categories can do with a lot of stiffening.
        1. Ashok Dhingra
          Feb 16, 2018 at 9:57 pm
          Modi will prefer to commit suicide than to enact a law on the directions of Supreme Court. Arun Jaitley will find the way out .
          1. V
            Feb 17, 2018 at 2:17 am
            And a baastaaard like you will commit suicide
          2. Mark S
            Feb 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm
            Will the BJP please publish the names of munificent and corrupt people who d 645 crores to BJP
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