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Wait to Know How Netas' Assets Jump Drastically Just Got Longer as Govt Says It Needs More Time

More than a year after the judicial order, the Centre has informed the SC that the permanent machinery to ascertain the exponential growth in assets of the politicians is yet to be finalised and would rather take some more time.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 17, 2019, 1:14 PM IST
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Wait to Know How Netas' Assets Jump Drastically Just Got Longer as Govt Says It Needs More Time
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New Delhi: No mechanism will be in place to track unnatural rise in the assets of candidates fighting the 2019 general elections.

More than a year after the judicial order, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the permanent machinery to ascertain the exponential growth in assets of the politicians is yet to be finalised and would rather take some more time.

“The issue because of its nature need wider deliberations and consultation amongst the stakeholder, and would be a comparatively time-consuming process,” stated the affidavit filed in the top court in response to a show-cause notice of contempt.

On a contempt plea by NGO Lok Prahari, the court had on March 12 issued a notice to G Narayana Raju, secretary of the Legislative Department in the Union Law Ministry.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, sought to know about alleged non-compliance by the Law Ministry in setting up a permanent machinery to check unnatural rise in assets of the candidates in terms of the court judgment in February 2018.

Responding, Raju said pursuant to the court order, a meeting was held in November 2018 under the chairmanship of the Secretary General of Rajya Sabha, which was attended by a number of representatives from the state government and legislative bodies.

However, the affidavit added, two different views surfaced as to whether the institutional mechanism should be within the framework of the legislative departments of the state governments or that a different model ensuring more independence and impartiality should be envisaged.

According to Raju, he wrote again to the Rajya Sabha Secretary General for another round of deliberation following the divergent views but the latter replied that it was now for the Ministry to decide after all the inputs had been received. “The answering respondent says that he would give a fresh consideration to the issue in the wake of latest development highlighted by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat,” said Raju.

The government also asked for more time to comply with the court order.

“The subject matter of setting up of a permanent mechanism still need more deliberation and consultation, for which the court is prayed for granting more time keeping in view that Union of India is seized of the issue and the necessary consultation and action has already been initiated,” stated Raju's affidavit.

It further said that the subject matter is indeed important because the establishment of such a permanent mechanism would be a necessary incident of the authority to declare a legislator disqualified.
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