'Hiding Info can Disqualify Candidates' - The New Indian Express

'Hiding Info can Disqualify Candidates'

Published: 14th May 2014 07:59 AM

Last Updated: 14th May 2014 07:59 AM

The Supreme Court has held that a candidate can be disqualified if he or she fails to disclose information about assets held by spouse and dependent children.

A Bench of Justice S S Nijjar and Justice A K Sikri said, “Non-disclosure would amount to non-compliance of the Election Commission rules to reveal requisite information in the affidavits to be filed along with their nomination papers.”

“The citizens have the fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India to know about the candidates contesting the elections and this is the primary reason that casts a solemn obligation on these candidates to furnish information regarding the criminal antecedents, educational qualifications and assets held by the candidate, his spouse and dependent children,” the Bench held.

The SC agreed with the findings of the Bombay High Court on an appeal by Kisan Shankar Kathore who won the Assembly elections from Ambernath constituency in 2004. His election was challenged on two grounds, one for his failure to disclose assets held by his wife and the other for not declaring the dues he owed towards the Maharashtra Electricity Board. The Bombay HC  had declared Kathore disqualified on both grounds. The court  found him guilty of non-disclosure of the vehicle  and bungalow owned by his wife and a firm in which she was a partner.

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