Parliamentarians must declare their assets at the end of their tenure to ensure accountability and transparency, a new private member’s bill has proposed.
Being moved by the Congress Lok Sabha member from Arunachal East, Ninong Ering, the bill aims at ensuring that MPs must also declare their assets after their terms end.
The Representation of The People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017, will be presented in the Winter Session of Parliament this year.
The bill proposes that Members of Parliament declare their assets within 90 days after their tenure ends.
This provision is to be inserted as sub section 75B(1) in the ‘Representation of People Act, 1951′, it says.
“The proposed amendment in the parent act will help in maintaining transparency and accountability of people’s representatives at the apex level. It will also help in creating a positive atmosphere of corruption-free status of MPs,” Ering told PTI.
At present, elected candidate of the two Houses of Parliament have to declare their assets and liabilities within ninety days from the date on which they take their seat.
However, there are no such provisions for declaration of assets and liabilities after the expiry of the term.
Ering said the proposed amendment in the parent bill sought the disclosure of the income and assets also after the completion of a term.
“I placed this bill to bring consciousness to our colleagues that after the elections, one should not be harassed for one’s assets and property. If there is a justified increase in one s property or assets the question of victimisation would not be there,” he said.
He said his assets were available online.
“This bill is being placed so that no ill will or misunderstanding prevails whether one is in power or not. We must rise above politics and take it sportingly,” he said.
The bill comes in the wake of Supreme Court observations earlier this month on the issue, after it was irked over the non-disclosure of action on jumps in politicians’ assets.
The Supreme Court took strong exception to the Centre’s attitude of not disclosing information on action taken by it against politicians, some of whose assets had seen a massive jump of up to 500 per cent between two elections, and had directed the government to place the necessary information in this regard before the court.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) later told the Supreme Court that there has been a substantial hike in the assets of seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 MLAs across the country and “discrepancies” had been found.
The CBDT said it would further probe the issue and place before the apex court the relevant documents relating to the assets of these lawmakers.
It also said the names of these politicians could not be revealed and would be given to the court in a sealed cover for its perusal.