Goa election commissioner becomes first to declare assets | india | Hindustan Times
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Goa election commissioner becomes first to declare assets

Not many election commissioners are willing to follow P.M. Bokar’s example. Chief electoral officers in states like Maharashtra have refused to declare their assets.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2009 00:41 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Goa Election Commissioner P.M. Borkar has become the first election official to declare his assets. However, not many are ready to follow suit.

The Election Commission, in December last year, had made it mandatory for national and state election commissioners and electoral officers to declare their assets after Pune-based financial consultant, Vihar Dhurve, filed an application on the issue.

While the EC has refused to divulge details of assets of the commissioners on the ground that there was no such rule, it forwarded the RTI application to state governments for their respective responses.

Two months later Borkar has declared his assets, worth Rs 17 lakh apart from his salary, in a RTI response to Dhurve. He also provided details of his assets in his wife’s name. “I have nothing to hide,” Borkar told HT.

A Goa civil service official, Borkar was appointed as state election commissioner after he retired from government service a few years ago.

Dhurve said after Shailesh Gandhi, the Central Information Commissioner, Borkar is the second official in the constitutional bodies to declare his assets voluntarily. “They have provided the lead but others are not willing to follow,” Dhurve lamented.

Chief electoral officers of states like Maharashtra have refused to divulge information about their assets. A senior EC official, who didnot want to be named, said there is no provision in the conduct of election rules that makes it mandatory for the election commissioners at the national or the state level to declare assets. “If one has to do it, it is totally voluntary,” he said.