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The Representation of The People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017

  Sep 23, 2017

The Representation of The People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Representation of The People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017

About
The Representation of The People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017, will be presented in the Winter Session of Parliament this year. According to the bill, Parliamentarians must declare their assets at the end of their tenure to ensure accountability and transparency. This provision will be inserted as sub section 75B(1) in the 'Representation of People Act, 1951'.  It is a new private member's bill.

Significance
The proposed amendment in the Representation of People Act will help in maintaining transparency and accountability of people's representatives at the apex level. It will also help in creating a positive atmosphere of corruption-free status of MPs. At present, elected candidate of the two Houses of Parliament have to declare their assets and liabilities within ninety days from the date on which they take their seat. However, there are no such provisions for declaration of assets and liabilities after the expiry of the term.

Context
The bill comes in the wake of Supreme Court observations on the issue, after it was irked over the non-disclosure of action on meteorical rise in politicians' assets. The Supreme Court took strong exception to non-disclosure of information on action taken by it against politicians.  Some of these politicians assets’ had seen a massive jump of up to 500 per cent between two elections. Also, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) told the Supreme Court that there has been a substantial hike in the assets of seven Lok Sabha MPs and 98 MLAs across the country and "discrepancies" had been found.