The Election Commission has decided to loop in the tax department for the scrutiny of affidavits filed by candidates for elections to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative councils, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.
Currently, the poll panel sends affidavits on financial details to the Central Board of Direct Taxes only in the case of Lok Sabha and Assembly election candidates. The tax department then analyses the affidavits to check for discrepancies or suspicious information, based on cases flagged by the Election Commission.
“The poll panel has been thinking of forwarding the affidavits to the CBDT so as to allow them to scrutinise these,” an unidentified official told the newspaper. “It is a move aimed at bringing in more accountability and transparency.”
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Election Commission on Tuesday after its expenditure division made a “compelling case” for the same, reported The Indian Express. “Rajya Sabha MPs are usually high profile personalities,” an official told the newspaper. “There’s no reason why their affidavits should not be looked at.”
“It has been noticed that some of the candidates to the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils have assets running into crores,” said the official speaking to the Hindustan Times. “For the sake of transparency it has been decided that their disclosure should be forwarded to the concerned authorities.”
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya, who is accused of defrauding banks of more than Rs 9,000 crore, was a Rajya Sabha member when he left India in 2016.