Legislators will have to reveal tax details | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Legislators will have to reveal tax details

delhi Updated: Mar 11, 2011 00:24 IST
HT Correspodent

Only half of the legislators in the five states going to polls in April-May had declared whether they paid income tax or not before contesting.

This time, things will change as the Election Commission through a new affidavit want to know when the person contesting in polls in these five states deposited income tax.

"The new format of the affidavit, where candidates have to declare date and other details of their income tax filed, will make it easy to catch tax defaulters," said N Gopalaswami, former chief election commissioner.

The commission has set up a special unit to analyse past and present affidavits along with expenditure reports of the candidates and recommend action to the income tax department. The EC has also asked candidates to open a separate account to meet electoral expenses and submit a frequent expenditure report in a bid to check influence of black money on polls.

The Election Commission on Thursday asked 1,0000 observers appointed in five states from Central government officers to ensure that the affidavits filed by the candidates have complete details of their movable/immovable assets, qualifications, convictions, cases pending in courts and are prominently displayed for public scrutiny.

The copy of the affidavits will also made available to designated NGOs for analysis and public information, chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi said. The observers will be available every afternoon at the office of returning officers to hear complaints.

The analysis of legislators in five states also reveal that one-forth of them have criminal cases pending against them and about 10 % serious criminal cases such attempt to murder and rioting.

The maximum number of criminal cases are pending against legislators in Kerala, which has highest literacy rate in India. Tamil Nadu was second followed by Puducherry, West Bengal and Assam.

These states have just 77 women legislators, which is 9.5% of the total MLAs. It is even less than the Parliament average of women legislators of 10.5%. In wake of major political parties supporting 33% reservation for women in Parliament, the National Election Watch, a group of civil society organizations, has urged the political parties to give tickets to more women as promised by different political parties.