Recently, Supreme Court of India, refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Mr Sunil Sarawagi complaining that even though its required under Election Law, Mr Narendra Modi while filling up his Election candidature form and submitting his affidavit, has not furnished the name and other details of Smt. Jashodaben N. Modi even though she is his wedded wife. After SC’s refusal, Mr Sarawagi had taken up the matter in details with Election Commission of India that the format of affidavit should be amended to specifically include the following fields:
- Marital status: Married / Unmarried / Divorced / Separated / Widowed.
- Date of Marriage: Date – Month – Year
- Name of Spouse:
Reportedly, now instead of manual filing of affidavits which has been the practice for all these years, the Election Commission plans to make mandatory the E-filing of affidavits and expenditure statements. Election Commission, reportedly, is testing a new software which it plans to introduce prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections and will be used for E-filing. If the E-filing system is indeed introduced in time for 2014 LS Elections, the software will mandate that each and every field of the affidavit should be filled and cannot be left blank. An EC source said:
“Not a single column can be left blank, otherwise the candidate’s form won’t be accepted by the software”
Additionally, it seems, the Election Commission has also considered Mr Sarawagi’s request for the additional fields and now according to reports, candidates will be required to submit complete personal information, including marital and socio-economic status.
If the software as proposed by Election Commission is indeed introduced in time for the 2014 LS polls, this would mean that Mr Narendra Modi, who has till date been contravening the provisions of law by not entering details of his spouse in election forms, will now be mandated to furnish the details as the software wouldn’t accept his Lok Sabha nomination form otherwise.