Supreme Court Scanner On 289 Lawmakers With Massive Asset Jump In 5 Years

News World India | 1
| September 7 , 2017 , 15:52 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday has directed the Centre to file a comprehensive report on what action or probe has been taken against 289 legislators, MPs and MLAs, who have had an exponential rise in their assets during their tenure as lawmakers. The lawmakers on the list are from across different parties and in some cases, the assets have increased by more than 500 percent in the span of 5 years.

Regarding the sharp rise in assets, some MPs cited appreciation in property values or business incomes, but the apex court is concerned whether the large jumps in assets are accounted for legally.

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A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer called for a probe into the matter to identify whether sources of additional income were obtained through legal means. The apex court also pulled up the centre for its perceived reluctance in sharing information and has directed the government to submit a report on the matter within a week.

The court said that in June 2015 an NGO had sought a probe against such politicians and that subsequently a representation had been made to the chairman of the central board of direct taxes but the response of the centre had been vague and did not clearly mention if any investigation was conducted.

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Appearing on behalf of the Centre, senior advocate K Radhakrishnan told the court that generally investigations into the background of people contesting elections was not conducted unless in specific cases where there was a reason to undertake the verification. He added that the results of the probes were shared directly with the Election Commission.

"Information in CBDT affidavit is vague. If this is the attitude the Government of India, what can be done? Why don't you place the information before the court on what you have done in those cases. Place the information before us," said the bench.

"You better file a detailed affidavit. This affidavit which you have filed is nothing but typed papers. Do not make vague statements," directed the bench to the centre.