The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the government and the election commission, returnable on February 20, on a petition on ‘abnormal increase’ in the assets of many MPs and MLAs. The petition seeks the candidates to disclose their sources of income in the affidavits filed with the nominations for the Parliament and Assembly elections.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) cited a shocking increase in the assets of MPs and MLAs in between two elections and pleaded that the affidavits do not reflect how it is possible. It cited the instance of Union Environment and Forest Minister Anil Madhav Dave, a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, who has declared an asset growth of over 2100%.
Citing the exponential increase in the assets of law makers in the course of just five year, the ADR said four sitting Lok Sabha members’ assets shot up by 1200%, while 22 others recorded an increase of 500%. It also cited the case of an MLA in Assam assembly declaring an increase of over 5000% and one MLA in Kerala showing assets increasing by over 1700% since the 2011 elections.
ADR impleaded itself as a co-petitioner in the petition by a Lucknow based organisation Lok Prahari, pointing out that many candidates filing the self-attested affidavits do not disclose the details of their income tax returns.
The Apex Court had on July 19 issued a notice to the government and the Election Commission on the Lok Prahari”s petition 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.