70 Lok Sabha MPs yet to reveal assets
New Delhi: At least 70 Lok Sabha MPs, including former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, have not yet disclosed details of their assets, a Right to Information (RTI) application has revealed.
The information was obtained in reply to an application filed by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal with the Lok Sabha Secretariat, seeking names of the members who have not disclosed details of their assets and wealth to the Speaker.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, his party colleagues Avtar Singh Bhadana, Deepa Dasmunsi, Deepender Singh Hooda, Rao Inderjit Singh and Shruti Choudhry; the Bharatiya Janata Party`s Arjun Munda and All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen`s Asaduddin Owaisi are among the 70 who had not submitted any information regarding their assets and liabilities till February 24, 2010.
However, the reply said that no action was being taken against these MPs because there was no complaint.
"No action has so far been taken against defaulting members... the reason for not taking any action against those Lok Sabha members who have not submitted details of assets and liabilities to the Lok Sabha Speaker is the non-receipt of any complaint from any other member or any citizen of India in this regard as required under Rule 5 (1) of the members of the Lok Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004," said the reply, on a query about whether any action has been taken against the defaulters.
"Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha rules should be modified for automatic action against defaulters MPs without waiting from a complaint against them. It should be made compulsory for the parliamentarians to furnish full and complete detail as required in the performa provided to be completed for websites of two Houses including names of all the spouses of a member," Agrawal said.
Agrawal has now sent a complaint to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar requesting her to take action against MPs who have not submitted their assets and liabilities and details as required under the rules.
The RTI reply also revealed that there has been an instance when, "a Lok Sabha member (Rajesh Kumar Manjhi) misused facilities by substituting other woman in name of his wife", thus taking another woman in place of his wife on an official trip.