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HC Advocate questions non-filing of affidavit with nomination papers by Presidental Election candidates, writes ECI
Chandigarh, June 27, 2022: Hemant Kumar, Punjab and Haryana high court advocate have questioned Election the non-filing of an affidavit by Presidential Election Candidates.
The process of filing nomination forms by prospective candidates for 16th Presidential Election 2022 is currently underway and will continue till Wednesday, June 29.
In a letter to ECI, Rajiv Kumar, Chief Election Commissioner(CEC), Anup Chandra Pandey, sole Election Commissioner (EC) in Election Commission of India (ECI) and PC Mody, the duly appointed Returning Officer (R.O.) for 16th Presidential Election at Parliament of India and who is also Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha, Hemant Kumar pointed out a glaring fact over why none of the candidates who have till date filed nominations for upcoming Presidential Election have not filed the requisite Affidavit(s) along with submission of their nominations form(s).
Hemant questioned that why during ongoing nomination filing process in 16th Presidential Election 2022, the requisite Affidavit(s) containing details/information regarding prospective Candidate’s (as well as his/her spouse's) assets, liabilities, dues towards banks/financial institutions/public authorities, details of criminal antecedents i.e. pending (criminal) cases, if any, be it at investigation, inquiry or trial stage etc. including the fact regarding his/her past conviction by any Court of law, if any, as well as his/her educational/professional qualifications etc. which is nevertheless mandated for every Public Election in the country be it of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Municipal bodies, State legislatures, Parliament since the year 2003 courtesy/in compliance of a ruling of the Hon’ble Supreme Court (which has been reiterated by the Apex Court in subsequent years too till date) have not been submitted by any of the candidates who have filed nominations for 16th Presidential Election 2022 till date.
Advocate questions why submission of such Affidavit(s) has not been mandated or prescribed in the Presidential Election neither via enactment of an appropriate amendment by the Parliament in The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 nor by Central Government via corresponding amendment in The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974.
"Even the Election Commission of India (ECI) has not issued any Order or Direction till date for the submission of such Affidavit(s) by exercising its plenary powers, as vested in it by the Constitution of India, for the reasons best known to it," he said.
Hemant has written that he fails to understand what has hitherto prevented all appropriate Election Authorities responsible for conducting Presidential elections in India from submitting such Affidavits mandatory along with the nomination form of every prospective Candidate in Presidential Election, which is indeed the election to the highest elective office in India, particularly since not only the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed the filing of such sort of Affidavit(s) in the year 2003 but ever since then the law in this regard has been further widely evolved not only by various actions/clarifications by Election Commission of India as well as the Central Government in the aftermath of various Apex Court subsequent rulings.
Hemant has sought appropriate clarification in this regard particularly because there is no exemption or relaxation in any of the judgment/order pronounced by Apex Court as regard Presidential Election i.e. for non-filing of requisite Affidavits(s). Till the time of filing this news story, there has been no response received either from ECI, CEC or the R.O. for the 16th Presidential Election.
The scrutiny of nominations would be done the next day on June 30 while the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is July 2. The Polling, if necessary, is scheduled for July 18 and the counting would be on July 21.