SC poser on filing incomplete nomination papers in elections
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 19:07
  
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today wanted to know about the consequences arising from filing incomplete nomination papers by candidates in elections.

"What are the consequences if the forms and affidavits are incomplete?" a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar said.

"If you don't fill the forms completely, it would mean that you are not filing a declaration," the Bench said while wanting to know whether it would amount to rejecting the nomination paper of a candidate.

When the Bench was informed that issues relating to the nomination paper in which details of candidates are furnished was pending before a larger Bench, it wanted to know whether the issue of incomplete nomination paper has been referred to it or not.

The court said it will wait for two weeks to get the information in this regard.

The Bench was informed that while filing nomination papers, candidates are supposed to furnish affidavits in which there are columns in which they give their educational qualifications, financial assets and liabilities and possible criminal antecedents.

However, instances are there when candidates prefer to leave the column vacant.

Advocate Meenakshi Arora, appearing for the Election Commission, said the poll panel has already issued directions to all returning officers that it should be ensured that none of the column is left vacant.

All the columns have to be filled and if no details are furnished, it has to completed by writing 'nil'.

The court was hearing a PIL filed in 2008 by Resurgence India, a civil rights group, which detected a trend among candidates of leaving blank the columns demanding critical information about them.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan had told the bench that the PIL was filed after scrutinising over 7,000 affidavits filed by candidates along with their nomination papers during the Punjab assembly elections in 2007.

The NGO, has submitted that candidates, out of fear of attracting charges of perjury for giving false information under oath in the affidavit, would rather leave the column blank.

Bhushan said this would leave the poll panel incapable of either rejecting the nomination or taking any action.

The EC, in its reply, had said that by resorting to this mechanism candidates have been able to frustrate voters' right to critical information about themselves.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 19:07


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