Why in News?
Supreme Court has imposed an additional disclosure norm for candidates contesting elections.
FACTS FOR PRELIMS
The Representation of Peoples Act, 1950 provides for-
i)Delimitation of Constituency
ii)Qualification of voter
iii)Preparation of electoral rolls
The Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 provides for-
i)Qualifications and disqualifications of Members and State Legislature.
ii)Notification of general election
iii)Administrative machinery for the conduct of elections
iv)Registration of Political Parties
v)Conduct of elections
vi)Free supply of certain material to candidates of recognised political parties.
vii)Dispute Regarding elections
viii)Corrupt Practices and electoral offences.
The Centre is empowered by the Act to frame rules in consultation with the Election Commission.
In 2002, the Supreme Court, in a landmark decision in Association for Democratic Reforms v. Union of India (ADR), mandated the disclosure of information relating to criminal antecedents, educational qualification, and personal assets of a candidate contesting elections.
In the recent judgement, the court has extended the disclosure obligation, It has asked the Centre to amend the rules as well as the disclosure form filed by candidates along with their nomination papers, to include the sources of their income, and those of their spouses and dependents.
The court has also asked for the establishment of a permanent mechanism to investigate any unexplained or disproportionate increase in the assets of legislators during their tenure.
The court has made it clear that non-disclosure of assets and their sources would amount to a “corrupt practice” under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.