Congress moves EC, says Amit Shah concealed information in poll papers
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Congress moves EC, says Amit Shah concealed information in poll papers

Congress delegation, including senior leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Jairam Ramesh and Vivek Tankha, claimed that Shah had “wilfully and deliberately concealed significant liabilities” from his declaration.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2018 07:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,Amit Shah,Election Commission
BJP National President Amit Shah addresses a press conference at the party headquarters, in New Delhi.(PTI File photo)

The Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to suspend the Rajya Sabha membership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah and initiate proceedings against him for allegedly not disclosing liabilities in the affidavit he submitted while filing his nomination papers for the election to the Upper House in 2017.

In a memorandum to the ECI, a Congress delegation, including senior leaders Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Jairam Ramesh and Vivek Tankha, claimed that Shah had “wilfully and deliberately concealed significant liabilities” from his declaration.

The memorandum contended that Shah had in 2016 mortgaged two of his properties to Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank, one of Gujarat’s largest cooperative banks, for his son Jay Shah’s business venture Kusum Finserve LLP in lieu of the loan of ~25 crore but did not disclose this in his affidavit.

The BJP dismissed the charges and said it had already explained its position on the issue. “Anyone is free to approach the election commission, or any other commission they wish to,” said Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

As per the Section 75A of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, all members of Parliament are required to file an affidavit declaring their criminal records (if any), assets and liabilities apart from educational qualifications.

The Congress delegation said the mortgaged properties constitute a liability since commercial banks are public financial institutions and the outstanding liabilities should have been declared.

Terming it a “very serious matter”, Singhvi told reporters after meeting the election commission that the Supreme Court has held that the requirement to disclose assets and liabilities was mandatory, and any evasion or suppression is absolutely not permissible.

The Congress demanded immediate suspension of Shah’s Rajya Sabha membership and commencing of proceedings against him for filing a false affidavit, which attracts imprisonment up to six months or a fine.

Sibal suggested that the party might approach the court in this regard. “But we don’t want to make it a political controversy. We want the election commission to act on it since the rules have been laid down,” he said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 23:43 IST