CIC hears appeal to disclose IT returns of 'crorepati' MPs, MLAs

Central Information Commission on Thursday heard arguments for and against disclosing IT returns of 22 MPs, including ministers, and 20 MLAs. The appellant, Association for Democratic Rights (ADR), and Income Tax officials participated. However, the CIC reserved its verdict.

The appeal by ADR to make public Income Tax returns of MPs, has sought return details of 22 MPs, including  Sachin Pilot, Selja Kumari and  Ajit Singh. The ADR, in February 2010, sought the information under the RTI Act from various Income Tax authorities and concerned appellate authorities. However, the authorities held that the information cannot be provided.

The ADR, through its national co-ordinator Anil Bairwal and Ashok Aneja, former Chief Commissioner (Income Tax), contended that their appeal  had larger public interest.

In the report submitted to the CIC, it was highlighted that according to the affidavits filed by Naveen Jindal of Congress to Election Commission, his asset value increased from Rs 121,295,000 (Rs 12 cr) during Lok Sabha elections 2004 to Rs 1,189,435,000 (Rs 18 cr) during the LS elections 2009. Similarly, an asset increase of Rs 38 crore between LS elections 2004 and 2009 was declared by BJP MP Uday Singh. Maneka Gandhi had shown an increase of approximately Rs 10 crore between the two Lok Sabha elections. Among MLAs, H Vasanth Kumar of Congress (Tamil Nadu)  had shown an increase of Rs 97 crore between elections in 2006 and 2011.

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