Law Ministry: Poll Candidates have to Declare their and Spouse’s Source of Income
Election contestants will have to declare their own and their spouses’ sources of earning in the affidavits filed before contesting polls. At present, it is mandatory for the poll contestants to disclose the details of assets and liabilities for self, spouse and three dependents in Form 26 at the filing of nomination papers but not the source of income. The law ministry has announced an amendment to the conduct of election rules.
The Election Commission’s suggestion of including a fresh column in the affidavit related to the “source of income of self and spouse” has been accepted by the law ministry.
According to the Election Commission, the amendment is aimed at bringing in more transparency. The Election Commission had submitted in the Supreme Court that inclusion of source of income is necessary as it will enable the voters to make an informed decision as to whether the increase of the income of the candidate from the previous election is reasonable or not.
The new rules also makes it necessary for the poll contestants to specify whether they are Indian citizens or not as only the Indian nationals can contest the elections.
The poll contestants also have to declare whether they hold an office of profit in a government office or not. Other disclosures that need to be made by the poll contestants include the details of earlier disqualification under the Representation of the People Act for spreading enmity or declared bankrupt.