Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 78

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Union Government and Administration)

(Current Based) Question: Discuss Supreme Court recent decision on information disclosure. (15 Marks/200Words)

Model Answer:

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 Aradhya Sethia

(Linkages: Supreme Court and Information Disclosure, Supreme Court and ADR, Supreme Court and Lok Prahari Judgement)

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