Candidates must declare foreign accounts, says EC

The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday said all contestants should disclose in their affidavits details of their foreign bank account/s, as well as of investments, assets and liabilities abroad.

The EC has also written to all political parties, asking them to ensure that all candidates follow the guidelines in this regard.

Though candidates are required to declare details of their foreign bank accounts and investments in their affidavits, the EC noted that several candidates have not been disclosing such details.

“It has been brought to the notice of the commission by some NGOs and individuals that some candidates are not disclosing details of their accounts in foreign banks, possession of property or investment overseas, along with loans and liabilities outside the country, in the affidavit,” wrote the poll panel to all recognised national and state-level political parties.

The EC said in a bid to remove any “misgivings in the minds of the people”, it wants candidates to include details of their and their spouses’ foreign bank accounts, besides their investments and liabilities abroad.

The move comes after the Supreme Court recently ruled that the returning officer can reject nomination papers of a candidate for non-disclosure and suppression of information, including that of assets or criminal background.

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