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EC’s response sought on incomplete affidavits

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre and the Election Commission on a public interest litigation petition for a direction to the Commission to reject the nomination papers of candidates who filed incomplete affidavits regarding antecedents and other particulars.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice R.V. Raveendran issued notice after hearing counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner Resurgence India. The petitioner said that in the 2007 Punjab Assembly polls, 369 out of the 388 affidavits analysed were incomplete. There were 1,451 non-disclosures in 369 affidavits, which amounted to four non-disclosures per affidavit. Those who filed incomplete affidavits with their nomination forms were frustrating the whole object of the Supreme Court judgment that said candidates should disclose all information, including criminal antecedents and financial assets and liabilities.

It said the Commission, by accepting nomination papers with blank columns or no disclosures, effectively deprived voters’ right to have information about the candidates. It sought a direction to the Commission to make it compulsory for Returning Officers to ensure that affidavits were complete in all respects and to reject incomplete nomination papers.

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