A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi granted two weeks to the Centre to spell out the steps taken in this regard.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Centre for not setting up a permanent mechanism to track unnatural increase in the value of assets of legislators and other candidates contesting the polls during the last few years.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi granted two weeks to the Centre to spell out the steps taken in this regard. The bench also wanted to know as to why Form 26, which every candidate is required to fill, does not contain a declaration by the candidate that s/he does not suffer from disqualification under any provision of the Representation of the People Act. The bench passed this order on a contempt petition filed by Lok Prahari based on whose petition the apex court had given a series of directions in February last year, including setting up of a mechanism to assess and evaluate candidates’ assets, which are on the increase gradually and in some cases even beyond 100 per cent. In a landmark judgment, the court had held that candidates and their family members are bound to disclose the source of their income at the time of filing nomination to contest an Assembly or parliamentary election.
The court said that accumulation of wealth in the hands of the elected representatives without any known or by questionable sources of income paves way for the rule of mafia substituting the rule of law. It also held that non-disclosure of source of income would amount to “corrupt practice” and “undue influence” warranting disqualification while adjudicating an election petition.
The court directed the Union government to amend the relevant rules under the Representation of People Act requiring candidates and their associates to declare their sources of income.