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MLAs, 7 MPs under probe for spike in wealth

13 September 2017

A copy of the arrangements was also produced in court.

The petitioner said an analysis of assets declared during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2016 Rajya Sabha elections, as well as elections to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Assam and West Bengal assemblies, revealed "abnormal increase" in assets of many members of Parliament and assemblies.

The Supreme Court today reserved its judgement in a petition filed by NGO Lok Prahari, which seeks a permanent mechanism to probe legislators with disproportionate assets. The court's observation comes a day after it was told 7 parliamentarians and 98 legislators were being investigated by tax authorities for disproportionate assets.

During the course of hearing, the apex court had issued notices to the Centre, secretaries of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

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CBDT admitted receiving a list of number of candidates for verification of their affidavits from the petitioners. The CBDT also claimed to have periodically shared the probe status and result with the Election Commission.

Apart from mooting setting up special courts for speedy disposal of these cases, Justice Chelameswar also observed that with the creation of new laws, there hasn't been any new tribunals.

The board further said that verification of affidavits were carried out in accordance with provisions of the IT Act. It said the income tax department has inquired into these allegations and "have prima facie found" that there was huge increase of assets in case of these lawmakers and the matter would be probed further. Even the information furnished before it in an affidavit by the CBDT was "not complete", it had added. Before that a candidate was required to disclose details of assets and liabilities for self, spouse and three dependents in Form 26 while filing nomination paper but not the source of income.

MLAs, 7 MPs under probe for spike in wealth