SC poser on filing incomplete nomination papers in elections

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 1, 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 1, 2010 - 19:07

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