The Supreme Court on 13 May 2014 held that Candidates fighting elections can be disqualified if they fail to disclose information about assets and liabilities of even their spouse and dependent children.
A bench comprising of Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar said those who are contesting elections are bind by law and it was binding on the candidate to give details on their background and education. If any candidate during the filling of nomination leaves any space blank that requires details about assets and liabilities, education and background would result into rejection by the returning officer at the scrutiny stage.
The court also said according to article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution it is the fundamental right of the citizen to know about the candidates contesting the elections. This is the primary reason for candidate to furnish information regarding the criminal antecedents, educational qualifications and assets held by the candidate, his spouse and dependent children.
The judgement came while dismissing an appeal filed by Kisan Shankar Kathore. He was elected to Maharashtra assembly in the October 2004 elections from Ambernath constituency in Thane District.
Kisan Shankar Kathore’s election was challenged by Arjun Dattatray Sawant, voter in the constituency. In 2007, Bombay High Court allowed the plea for non disclosure of outstanding electricity bills.
The apex court upheld the high court order saying that non-disclosure of outstanding electricity dues was not a serious lapse, the non-disclosure of wife owning a flat and vehicle and his interest/share in the partnership firm was a major and serious lapse.
Who: Supreme Court
When: 13 May 2014