Karikho Kri vs Nuney Tayang 2024 INSC 289 :: [2024] 4 S.C.R. 394 – Right To Know Not Absolute – Voter’s Right

Voter’s Right to Know – SC Rejects the contention that the voter’s ‘right to know’ is absolute and a candidate contesting the election must be forthright about all his particular -We are not inclined to accept the blanket proposition that a candidate is required to lay his life out threadbare for examination by the electorate. His ‘right to privacy’ would still survive as regards matters which are of no concern to the voter or are irrelevant to his candidature for public office. In that respect, non-disclosure of each and every asset owned by a candidate would not amount to a defect, much less, a defect of a substantial character. It is not necessary that a candidate declare every item of movable property that he or his dependent family members owns, such as, clothing, shoes, crockery, stationery and furniture, etc., unless the same is of such value as to constitute a sizeable asset in itself or reflect upon his candidature, in terms of his lifestyle, and require to be disclosed. Every case would have to turn on its own peculiarities and there can be no hard and fast or straitjacketed rule as to when the non-disclosure of a particular movable asset by a candidate would amount to a defect of a substantial character. For example, a candidate and his family who own several high-priced watches, which would aggregate to a huge figure in terms of monetary value, would obviously have to disclose the same as they constitute an asset of high value and also reflect upon his lavish lifestyle. Suppression of the same would constitute ‘undue influence’ upon the voter as that relevant information about the candidate is being kept away from the voter. However, if a candidate and his family members each own a simple watch, which is not highly priced, suppression of the value of such watches may not amount to a defect at all. Each case would, therefore, have to be judged on its own facts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *