Candidate need not disclose every movable belonging owned by them, says Supreme Court

New Delhi: In a significant verdict, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said that a candidate need not disclose each and every movable asset owned by him or his dependents unless they constitute high-value assets having a substantial impact on his candidature.

The above observation was made by a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar as it upheld the 2019 election of the Independent MLA Karikho Kri from the Tezu Assembly constituency in Arunachal Pradesh.

Earlier, the Gauhati High Court had declared the election of Karikho Kri as null and void on the election petition filed by Congress candidate Nuney Tayang accusing the former of making false declarations in his election nomination paper.

Tayang contended that Kri did not disclose details of vehicles owned by him and his family and a plot of land owned by his mother. Further, he claimed that Kri did not disclose that he was in occupation of a government accommodation and did not submit ‘No Dues Certificates’ towards the rent, electricity charges, water charges and telephone charges.

In a detailed judgment passed in July last year, the Itanagar bench of the Gauhati High Court declared the election of the returned candidate as void to safeguard the purity of the election process and to see that people do not get elected by flagrant breaches of the law.

Later, the top court in an interim direction stayed the conduct of fresh elections to the subject constituency. It had said, “The appellant should be entitled to all privileges as Member of the House and in the Committees, but the appellant shall not be entitled to cast his vote on the Floor of the House and in any of the Committees where he participates in the capacity as a Member of the Legislative Assembly.”

Also Read: Supreme Court Unanimously Strikes Down Electoral Bonds Scheme, Calls It…

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