EC clean chit to Modi for not revealing wife income

Chennai :  In a relief to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Election Commission has concluded that there is no ground for taking action against him for not disclosing his wife Jasodaben’s income, Income Tax returns and PAN details in his Lok Sabha election affidavit.

The EC came to this conclusion while rejecting a petition from a Chennai-based person who had sought legal and criminal action against Modi under Section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, and under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code. The poll body has held that the man’s plea is “not tenable. “

The petitioner had originally moved the Madras High Court seeking action against Modi arguing that he had failed to furnish the details of wife’s income in the election affidavit. The court had directed the EC to consider and dispose of the representation of the petitioner.

After perusing the records, the EC on Thursday informed the court that the provision of

Section 153 A of Indian Penal Code is not at all attracted in such cases as this provision only lays down as to what would amount to promoting enmity between different groups or grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language and doing such acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and quantum of punishment for such offences.

Citing a Supreme Court order, the EC submitted that the Apex Court has categorically mentioned that if there is no information to be furnished against a[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth]ny item, appropriate remarks such as ‘Nil’ or ‘Not applicable’ or ‘Not Known’ as may be applicable must be indicated in such column.

“No column should be left blank. If a candidate fails to fill the blanks even after the reminder by the returning officer, the nomination paper will be liable to be rejected by the returning officer at the time of scrutiny of nomination papers,” the Election Commission said.

Taking this into account, a division bench of the High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice S K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh held that in the light of the EC’s letter wherein the representation (of the petitioner) dated April 20, 2014 has been considered and disposed, “nothing survives for adjudication in the petition.” Hence the court closed the petition.

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