To know about the candidates contesting elections is a fundamental right of citizens under Article 19(1)(a): Supreme Court
The apex court held that it is mandatory for the candidates contesting elections to disclose information about assets and liabilities of even their spouse and dependent children failing which they can be disqualified. A person fighting elections is also under legal obligation to reveal information on his or her criminal antecedents and educational qualifications.
Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution makes it a fundamental right of the citizens to know about the candidates contesting the elections and this is the main reason that makes it obligatory to the candidates to furnish details regarding the criminal antecedents, educational qualifications and assets held by the candidate, his spouse and dependent children.
As per the court, at the time of filing the nomination paper, if a candidate leaves blank any column seeking information on criminal antecedents, educational qualifications and assets and liabilities, then it would result in disqualification by the returning officer at the scrutiny stage itself. If it is found that it is a case of improper acceptance, misinformation or suppression of material information, rejection in such a case can only be postponed for a later date.