'Candidates need not disclose every property unless it is luxurious…', Supreme Court's big decision – Candidates need not disclose every property unless it luxurious Supreme Court ntc theinsiderinsight

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said candidates contesting elections are not required to disclose all movable properties owned by them or their dependents. Unless its price is exorbitant and it is not associated with a luxurious lifestyle. According to a report, the Supreme Court's direction came while upholding the election of independent MLA Karikho Kri from Teju in the 2019 Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections.

The top court said that a voter does not have the absolute right to know about every asset of a candidate. It further states that an election candidate has the right to privacy in respect of matters irrelevant to his candidature. This instruction was given by the division bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar. Along with this, he also canceled the order of Gauhati High Court, in which the election of Karikho Kri was declared void.

The rival had claimed in the court

In the petition, Karikho Kri's rival had claimed that the MLA exerted undue influence by not disclosing three vehicles owned by his wife and son while filing his nomination. The court said that the vehicles were either gifted or sold before Karikho Kri filed the nomination. Thus the top court said that the vehicles could not still be considered owned by Kri's family.

The petitioner had given this argument

The Supreme Court also rejected the petitioner's argument that CR should have disclosed all the details of its assets, as voters had an absolute right to know. However, the court said that candidates will have to disclose their assets if it has a substantial impact on their candidature. It is not necessary that a candidate declare every item of movable property like clothes, shoes, crockery, stationery, furniture, unless it is necessary. Of such value that it constitutes a substantial asset in itself or reflects their candidature in the context of their lifestyle and needs to be disclosed.

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