The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to place before it details of the steps it had taken to verify the sources of income of lawmakers whose assets increased many fold in just one term as elected representatives.
The bench of Justice J.Chelameswar and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer sought the details of the steps taken by the tax authorities to examine these cases, as senior counsel K. Radhakrishnan told the court that the cases where there was manifold increase in assets were being looked into.
“If you say that you have taken up 1,2,3 cases, that will establish your bona fides that you are in principle in favour of reforms”, the bench told the senior counsel as he asserted: “We believe in action.”
Noting that they were just asking for basic information, the bench said that “if government was not averse to reforms, then necessary information must be available”.
The court query came as the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) had cited the instances of four law makers whose assets have increased by 1,200 per cent or more , and another 22 law makers whose assets recorded an increase of 500 per cent.
The ADR had cited the instance of a lawmaker whose assets registered a growth of 2,100 per cent, a lawmaker in Assam whose assets increased by 500 per cent and another in Kerala whose assets grew by 1,700 per cent since the 2011 assembly elections.
Appearing for the Central government, Radhakrishnan said that that the “nation cleaning is not only removing the garbage but also cleaning the system itself. Everybody put together is aspiring for a good life”.
The court is hearing a plea by NGO Lok Prahari seeking that candidates in the election fray should disclose sources of their income and if they had any stakes in entities having business transactions with the government.
Some part of the prayer by the petitioner NGO relating to the sources of income have been met by the government by its July 4 notification.
The court will now hear the matter on September 12.