MLAs, 7 MPs under Scanner for spike in wealth

7 MPs 98 MLAs under I-T scanner for exponential increase in assets

7 MPs 98 MLAs under I-T scanner for exponential increase in assets

The Bench was of the opinion that not only should the income of the legislators be disclosed, but the sources of income should also be scrutinized.

Nighty eight MLA and seven Lok Sabha members are under investigation for disproportionate assets informed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to Supreme Court on Monday.

The petitioner said an analysis of assets declared during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2016 Rajya Sabha elections, as well as elections to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal assemblies, revealed "abnormal increase" in assets of many members of Parliament and assemblies. The verification reports of nine RS members and 42 MLAs are pending.

The CBDT affidavit comes five days after a Bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar had asked the Centre to furnish the details of the probe.

The CBDT affidavit, however, does not mention the names of the legislators in whose cases the discrepancies were noted.

It also said that the names of these politicians can not be revealed and would be given to the court in a sealed cover for its perusal. The court had, however, allowed it to submit the names in a sealed cover if they could not be made public.

The apex court had on September 6 observed that though the government was saying that it was not averse to electoral reforms, it has not placed the necessary details. The board also said that the Income Tax department has found prima facie evidence of the same against the MPs, MLAs. "It is also pertinent to note here the statutory restrictions under Section 138 of the Income Tax Act", it added.

Lok Prahari told the court that candidates filing nomination papers were disclosing their assets and those of their spouse, children, and other dependents but not sources of income through which they came to possess these.

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