Does the wealth declaration of MPs come under the purview of RTI Act?
An application was filed with the Parliament of India under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information about the steps taken by the Parliament to upload asset details of the Members of Parliament (MPs) on its website and action taken on MPs for hiding information in their wealth declaration.
However, both the houses declined to provide the demanded information. The reply from the Rajya Sabha secretariat stated that the Committee on Ethics did not favour posting the asset details of Rajya Sabha members on its website.
Within 90 days of taking oath to their respective houses, the MPs have to submit the details of their and their families’ movable and immovable property, liabilities to any financial institution and liabilities to the government. The RTI reply states that 8 MPs have not disclosed their asset and liabilities statements as yet. Out of these, three belong to Lok Sabha and five to Rajya Sabha. However, no action has been taken against them by the Parliament and only reminders have been sent to them.
It is alleged that MPs refuse to disclose their wealth statements for fear of disqualification. There is no provision for disqualification from election on account of disclosing false wealth statement at the time of election. However, if false information given in the Parliament fetches complaints, the houses can disqualify the candidate after an enquiry