BANGALORE: Though Thursday was the last date to declare assets, most Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) councillors, including the Mayor, have failed to do so.
Under Section 19 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, every councillor shall, not later than one month after the commencement of his term of office, and in the same month of each succeeding year, file a declaration of all assets owned by him and any member of his family, to the Mayor. Such a declaration shall form part of the corporation records and will be uploaded on the BBMP’s website.
BBMP sources said the present councillors took oath on April 23, 2010. That means every year, the councillors have to declare their assets by May 22.
Sources said that of the 198 councillors, not more than five have declared their assets. “Even the councillors who declared their assets have not filed them in the prescribed format, which makes them invalid,” a source said. A councillor needs to submit the declaration after a notary has attested their documents. Last year, some of the councillors filed their assets only in September.
When contacted, Mayor B S Sathyanarayana said that as the election code of conduct was in place, councillors were busy with election duty. “That is the reason not all the councillors could file their declarations,” he said, adding that there was time till the end of the month to do so. Asked if he had filed the declaration, he said he would do it on Friday.
However, legal experts said the code of conduct has nothing to do with declaring assets.
Amrutesh N P, an advocate at the High Court, said no one is above the law. “When the KMC Act mandates that councillors have to declare their assets within a stipulated time, one has to abide by it. When Justice Santhosh Hegde was Lokayukta, many MLAs had failed to declare their assets. Justice Hegde had warned them that if they fail to submit the declarations, he would file cases before the jurisdictional magistrates.”