SC notice to government, EC on sources of income of poll candidates

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the central government and the Election Commission on a plea that candidates in the election fray should disclose sources of their income and if they had any stakes in entities having business transactions with the government.

A bench headed by Justice J.Chelameswar issued notice on a plea by a Lucknow-based NGO Lok Prahari seeking inclusion of a column in the nomination form seeking the details of the sources of income on the basis of which they have come to possess their assets.

The court was moved by the NGO’s general secretary S.N.Shukla, who is a retired bureaucrat.

While dealing with the PIL by the NGO, the court, in the course of the previous hearing on July 2, had said that it would examine if lawmakers could have stakes in companies having business interest with the government.

Telling Shukla that it was a cause of worry that people in the legislature have contracts in the government, the court had, in an apparent reference to beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, said: “People borrow crores of rupees, become MPs and then fly away when things go wrong.”

Shukla through his PIL has told the court that candidates while filing their nomination papers were disclosing their assets, assets of their spouse, children and other dependents but not the sources of income by which they have come to possess them.

To buttress his point that some of the law makers were thriving on easy money, he said of the 542 Lok Sabha members, 113 have described their profession as housewife, social workers, social service and politics.

These can’t be and should not be sources of getting money but in the case of 12 of them, their assets have increased more than fivefold, Shukla told the court.

He said that for such category of lawmakers, membership of legislatures is in not for public service but self-service.



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