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Electoral reforms are long-awaited: SC

Electoral reforms are long-awaited: SC

Supreme Court today accepted that electoral reforms are “long awaited” but refused to entertain a PIL of several eminent citizens, including former air chief S Krishnaswamy and top cop Julio F Ribeiro, seeking a direction to Election Commission to verify details of persons contesting polls.

The apex court also said poll reforms have to be carried out by the legislature but simultaneously expressed apprehension that they may not do it.

“The election reforms are long awaited. Only they (legislature) can make law, but we know that they will not do this,” the bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.

Terming the task of verifying details including assets of candidates as “cumbersome”, the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit, said it was for Parliament to act, as the court cannot ask the Election Commission to undertake this exercise.

At the outset, the court said, “how do you expect the Election Commission to go on verifying details of thousands and thousands of candidates…”.

The bench then asked counsel for Ribeiro and others to make a representation before the poll panel and other authorities concerned and allowed them to withdraw the plea.

“Persuade them outside the court. Let us see how they respond,” it said.

Besides Ribeiro, twelve others including former CAG Vijay K Shunglu, former Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, former DGP Prakash Singh and ex-IIT Director S K Dubey had co-petitioned the apex court on the issue.

( Source – PTI )


One Response to “Electoral reforms are long-awaited: SC”

  1. hemen

    Electoral Reforms Through Backdoor ?

    While refusing to entertain a PIL of eminent citizens seeking direction to Election Commission to verify details of persons contesting polls , the Supreme Court remarked :

    ” It was for Parliament to act, as the court cannot ask the Election Commission to undertake this exercise
    How do you expect the Election Commission to go on verifying details of thousands and thousands of candidates ? The task of verifying details including assets of candidates is cumbersome
    The election reforms are long awaited . Only they ( legislature ) can make law , but we know that they will not do this
    Persuade them ( Election Commission ) , outside the court . Let us see how they respond ”

    I get a feeling that Shri Arun Jaitleyji and the Income Tax Department overheard the honorable judges of the Supreme Court !
    For 2016-17 assessment year, the tax department has unveiled new income tax return form
    For persons with income above Rs 50 lakhs, it requires submission of following details ( with cost of each item ) :
    * All immovable assets ( such as land / buildings etc )
    * All movable assets ( such as Cash, Jewellery , Vehicles , Yachts etc )
    * All liabilities ( such as loans )

    Here is what the Election Commission should do next :
    * Insist that each and every contestant files along with his / her nomination
    affidavit , copies of his / her income tax returns for past 3 years
    That still leaves the question of ” Verification ”
    Answer :
    Alternative # 1 :
    Using ” Sampling Technique “, randomly select 10 % of the contestants and ask Income Tax authorities to verify their assets / liabilities
    Alternative # 2 :
    Select ( for verification ) those contestants , whose incomes have grown by more than 25 % over the past 3 returns
    Electoral Reforms is merely a question of necessary ” Will ” on part of the Administrative wing
    But even there , do not expect much when bureaucrats and ministers themselves , fail to submit their Assets Declarations to PM every year !
    ————————————————————————————-
    http://www.hemenparekh.in / blogs
    04 April 2016

    Reply

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