meaningful implementation

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What emerges from the above discussion can be summarized in the form of following directions: (i) The voter has the elementary right to know full particulars of a candidate who is to represent him in the Parliament/Assemblies and such right to get information is universally recognized. Thus, it is held that right to know about the candidate is a natural right flowing from the concept of democracy and is an integral part of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. (ii) The ultimate purpose of filing of affidavit along with the nomination paper is to effectuate the fundamental right of the citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. The citizens are supposed to have the necessary information at the time of filing of nomination paper and for that purpose, the Returning Officer can very well compel a candidate to furnish the relevant information. (iii) Filing of affidavit with blank particulars will render the affidavit nugatory. (iv) It is the duty of the Returning Officer to check whether the information required is fully furnished at the time of filing of affidavit with the nomination paper since such information is very vital for giving effect to the ‘right to know’ of the citizens. If a candidate fails to fill the blanks even after the reminder by the Returning Officer, the nomination paper is fit to be rejected. We do comprehend that the power of Returning Officer to reject the nomination paper must be exercised very sparingly but the bar should not be laid so high that the justice itself is prejudiced. (v) We clarify to the extent that Para 73 of People’s Union for Civil Liberties case (supra) will not come in the way of the Returning Officer to reject the nomination paper when affidavit is filed with blank particulars. (vi) The candidate must take the minimum effort to explicitly remark as ‘NIL’ or ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘Not known’ in the columns and not to leave the particulars blank. (vii) Filing of affidavit with blanks will be directly hit by Section 125A(i) of the RP Act However, as the nomination paper itself is rejected by the Returning Officer, we find no reason why the candidate must be again penalized for the same act by prosecuting him/her. 28) The Writ Petition is disposed of with the above directions.

published in     http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40768  REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION 1 WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 121 OF 2008 Resurgence India …. Petitioner (s) Versus Election Commission of India & Anr. …. Respondent(s) 2 J U D G M E N T P.Sathasivam, CJI. 1) This writ petition, under Article 32 of … Continue reading

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