The Central Government has made it mandatory for candidates contesting in elections to disclose their income as per income tax returns filed for the last five years, on a recommendation from the Election Commission of India (EC). The disclosure will also have to include the candidate's spouse, members of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and his/her dependents.
All changes were introduced as an amendment to the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 and notified by the Ministry of Law as on 26 February and will be applicable for all candidates that are contesting in forthcoming elections. After the amendment, it is now called the Conduct of Election (Amendment) Rules, 2019.
The candidate will also have to declare any interest in or ownership of offshore assets that are held by the candidates, their spouses, dependents, and HUFs. Deposits or any investment in foreign banks or any institution outside India along with any assets and liabilities held abroad will have to be disclosed.
The new section is included in Form 26, however, the revised rules require submission of PAN details. In case the candidate does not hold a PAN, he or she should clearly state "No PAN alloted," the amendment stated.