(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Union
Government and Administration)
(Current Based) Question:
Discuss Supreme Court recent decision on information
disclosure. (15 Marks/200Words)
The Supreme Court’s recent decision on information disclosure ( Lok Prahari
v. Union of India ) paves a way for future constitutional interventions in
India’s party funding regime, including the scheme of electoral bonds.
In 2002, the Supreme Court, in a landmark decision in Association for
Democratic Reforms v. Union of India (ADR) , mandated the disclosure of
information relating to criminal antecedents, educational qualification, and
personal assets of a candidate contesting elections.
Sixteen years later, the court has extended the disclosure obligation to
further include information relating to sources of income of candidates and
their “associates”, and government contracts where candidates or their
associates have direct or indirect interests.
What Lok Prahari does is that it extends the ADR decision to include
information about the candidate’s “associates”; relevant information for voters
is no more limited to the candidate’s personal information. What does this
decision tell us about party funding?
As a matter of policy, one may argue that strict transparency norms may not
always be desirable. However, as a matter of legal principle, the court’s recent
judgment in Lok Prahari , strikes a blow against the provisions discouraging
transparency in party funding. (Total Words- 193)
Valuable inputs from The Hindu Opinion : ‘For Cleaner, Fairer Elections’ by
(Linkages: Supreme Court and Information Disclosure, Supreme Court and ADR,
Supreme Court and Lok Prahari Judgement)