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A voter has elementary right to know full particulars of candidates, says Gujarat High Court

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The Gujarat High Court while disposing of a petition observed that a voter has the elementary right to know the full particulars of a candidate who is to represent him in the election. Gujarat High Court said that it has been held that the right to know about a candidate is a natural right flowing from the concept of democracy and is an integral part of Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

The ultimate purpose of filing an affidavit along with the nomination paper is to effectuate the fundamental right of the citizens under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution. The citizens are supposed to have the necessary information about candidates at the time of filing of the nomination paper and for that purpose, the Returning Officer can very well compel a candidate to
furnish the relevant information.

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The returning officer must check whether the information required is fully furnished at the time of filing of an affidavit with the nomination paper since such information is very vital for giving effect to the “right to know” of the citizens, the court said.

The applicant has filed his nomination from Jamnagar Municipal Corporation. His nomination form has been accepted but he moved Gujarat High Court stating that his rival candidate has failed to furnish his criminal antecedents in the affidavit. Hence he sought the cancellation of his rival candidate’s nomination form before the Gujarat High Court.

 

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