Candidates’ disclosure of source of income be made mandatory: EC to Apex court
The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that it must be made mandatory for the candidates to disclose their sources of income along with that of their spouse and dependents at the time of filing nomination to bring transparency in the election process.
The poll panel also sought amendment in the Representation of the People Act to make sure that a candidate is disqualified not only when he has an existing contract with the government but also when any member of his family has a similar financial agreement.
In an affidavit before the apex court, the EC said it is necessary for “healthier democracy” that voters get to know the sources of income of aspiring candidates and family members. Under the current law, a candidate is required to disclose details of assets and liabilities for self, spouse and three dependents in Form 26 while filing nomination paper but not the source of income.
“The existing format of the poll affidavit does not give any information in respect of the sources of income of the candidate and his family members to enable the electors to form an informed choice as to whether the increase of the income of the candidate from the previous election is reasonable or not,” the commission said. The submission came in response to a PIL filed by NGO Lok Prahri seeking the court’s direction to amend the Representation of the People Act to make it mandatory for candidates to disclose the sources of their income and that of their family members.