Lok Sabha election 2019: What all is included in affidavits filed by candidates before polls? All you need to know
The affidavit should be sworn before an oath commissioner or magistrate of the first class or before a notary public.
An affidavit filed by a candidate standing in Lok Sabha or Assembly elections is an official declaration of vital information associated with him/her
The document filed along with the nomination of the candidate, relates to his public disclosure of wealth as well as liabilities
The affidavit should be filed latest by 3.00 pm on the last day of filing nominations
An affidavit filed by a candidate standing in Lok Sabha or Assembly elections is an official declaration of vital information associated with him/her such as the amount of property/wealth owned and criminal cases pending against them.
The document filed along with the nomination of the candidate, relates to his public disclosure of wealth as well as liabilities in order to help the voters make an informed choice.
An affidavit of an election candidate contains the following details (figures in rupees):
— Total assets
— Immovable assets
— Movable assets
— Bank balance
— Liabilities worth (further sub-divided into categories)
— Criminal cases pending
— Land ownership
— Agricultural land
— Non-agricultural land
— Residential buildings (including apartments)
— Commercial buildings
— Educational qualification
Apart from these columns, the affidavit also contains all contact details, including social media handles of the candidate. Bank account and PAN card details of the person are also sought to ensure complete transparency.
In the end, the candidate is required to sign an undertaking confirming that all the information provided by him in the document is admissible and to the best of his knowledge.
The whole document is prepared and attached along with a government stamp paper giving it legal credence.
Important considerations (with reference to ECI's circular 'Amendments in Form-26 (Format of Affidavit to be filed by candidates)')
1) The affidavit should be filed latest by 3.00 pm on the last day of filing nominations.
2) The affidavit should be sworn before an oath commissioner or magistrate of the first class or before a notary public.
3) All columns should be filled up and no column to be left blank. If there is no information to furnish in respect of any item, either "Nil" or "Not applicable", as the case may be, should be mentioned.
4) The affidavit should be either typed or written legibly and neatly.
5) Each page of the affidavit should be signed by the deponent and the affidavit should bear on each page the stamp of the notary or oath commissioner or magistrate before whom the affidavit is sworn.
With regard to property declaration:
a. Properties in joint ownership indicating the extent of joint ownership will also have to be indicated
b. Each land or building or apartment should be mentioned separately
c. Details should include the interest in or ownership of offshore assets
Note: For the purpose of this form, the expression "offshore assets" includes, details of all deposits or investments in foreign banks and any other body or institution abroad, and details of all assets and liabilities in foreign countries
With regard to asset declaration:
a. Assets in joint name indicating the extent of joint ownership will also have to be given.
b. In case of deposit/investment, the details including serial number, amount, date of deposit, the scheme, name of bank/institution and branch are to be given.
c. Value of bonds/share debentures as per the current market value in stock exchange in respect of listed companies and as per books in case of non-listed companies should be given
d. 'Dependent' means parents, son(s), daughter(s) of the candidate or spouse and any other person related to the candidate whether by blood or marriage, who have no separate means of income and who are dependent on the candidate for their livelihood.
Affidavits of various candidates in different Lok Sabha and Assembly elections over the years can be found on the Election Commission of India (ECI) website (www.eci.gov.in).
Specifically, affidavits of some of the star candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha election can be found in this Indian Express report. These include affidavits of BJP president Amit Shah, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and, Samajwadi Party patriach Mulayam Singh Yadav, among others.
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