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Election candidates don’t need to disclose every asset: SC on privacy rights

The clarification by the Supreme Court comes at a time when all eyes are on the affidavits filed by candidates of Lok Sabha polls and assembly elections in four states disclosing their assets.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: April 10, 2024 12:49 IST
Representational image
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Representational image

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that an electoral candidate’s right to privacy remains intact in terms of disclosing asserts irrelevant to voters or his public role. The apex court clarified that candidates are not mandated to reveal every asset owned by them or their dependents. The top court said they need to disclose only those assets that significantly influence their public image or lifestyle and have a bearing on an elector’s choice.

The ruling by the Supreme Court is significant in terms of the privacy rights of candidates. The top court's ruling came during a hearing on a case belonging to Independent MLA Karikho Kri from Arunachal Pradesh. The apex court upheld the election of Kri from Tezu in the 2019 Arunachal Pradesh Assembly election.

The Supreme Court said an electorate had no absolute right to know about each and every asset of a candidate.

SC dismisses plea for breathalyser test of voters at polling booths

In another development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking a breathalyser test of voters in queue at every polling booth during the elections.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta refused to interfere with the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing the petition and said, "It is more of a publicity interest litigation".

Counsel appearing for the Andhra Pradesh unit of the Janavahini Party said since the model code of conduct is imposed, no voter should be allowed to vote under the influence of alcohol.

The bench said, "What is this? It is for publicity. On polling day it is a dry day and police personnel are deployed everywhere. We will not entertain this. Dismissed."

The Andhra Pradesh unit of the Janavahini Party has initially moved the high court, which had dismissed the plea on February 28.

(With agency inputs)

Also read: Lok Sabha elections 2024: PM Modi addresses public meeting in Vellore, says 'DMK a family company'

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