SC Verdict : Declaration of Assets

SC Verdict:

  • The court made it mandatory for candidates contesting elections and their associates to declare their assets and source of income at the time of nomination.
  • The obligation of a candidate to disclose both his assets and the source of income is a part of the fundamental right of citizen to know, under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
  • The court said enforcement of a citizen’s fundamental right needs no statutory sanction from the government or the Parliament.
  • A candidate’s constitutional right to contest an election to the legislature should be subservient to the voter’s fundamental right to know the relevant information regarding the candidate.
  • It held that undue accretion of assets is an independent ground for disqualifying an MP or an MLA. Amassing wealth is a culpable offence by itself and a law maker can be prosecuted even without charging him for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • The court said the amassment of unaccounted wealth by lawmakers is the mark of a failing democracy. If left unattended it would inevitably lead to the destruction of democracy and pave the way for the rule of mafia.

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