Political parties have been raising the issue of transparency in politics from time to time. But in the name of action, the results come out as just a big zero.
While no political party dares to call itself corrupt, after winning the elections, it is common to hear about the sharply rising wealth and property of political leaders in India. The Supreme Court has recently raised the question on MPs and MLAs who have accumulated property and wealth as much as 500 times. The apex court has also raised a serious question as to whether an elected representative of the people can be allowed do business?
The Supreme Court asked the Central government that 30 years ago, NN Vohra's report had come and what action has been taken from the side of Union Govt. of India in this regard? The problem seems the same today, nothing about the report has been done. During the hearing of the case, the Supreme Court opened the sealed envelope, in which information related to property and wealth in election affidavits by seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 MLAs found different and varied as per the information given in the Income Tax Returns of these MPs and MLAs.
The government has said that investigations are going on against all these. After seeing the information, the Supreme Court did not make the names public, but told the court staff to stop sealing it back. Earlier, the affidavit submitted by the CBDT to the Supreme Court, had said that the result of the election affidavits of these MPs and MLAs and the verification of income tax returns will be shared with the Election Commission for the further process of investigation into the matter.
CBDT said that it can not be shared under the right to information. CBDT told the Supreme Court that verification report of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 215 MLAs and two Rajya Sabha MPs has been received. The affidavit said that the verification of information about their properties and wealth in the election affidavits of these leaders and their assets in income tax returns is being done in accordance with the standards set out by the Election Commission and CBDT.
In the affidavit it has been said that after the Verification Report of the information given about the properties in the election affidavits and income tax returns, if further investigation is needed then it will be sent to the Associate Officer. The CBDT has given its answer on a PIL filed by the organization called LOK-PRAHARI. The petitioner's organization had alleged that there was a huge increase in property of several MPs and MLAs. According to the organization, there is a great difference in the information given about the assets of 26 Lok Sabha MPs, 257 MLAs and 11 Rajya Sabha MPs in their respective present day's electoral affidavits. All these leader's properties have registered with a significant sky-rocketing increase in it's value.
The CBDT, in its affidavit, however said that it is not possible to verify the each and every People's representative's total wealth and property and the returns filed by them in the dept. of Income tax. So it is done when ever and where ever it is needed.
In addition, the CBTD also said that the information given about the properties in the election affidavits and income tax returns is different. In case of election Affidavit ,the market value of the properties and liabilities are mentioned ,in the meantime the return filed in the Income tax dept. in which there may not be the details of properties and liabilities.