The Supreme Court has ordered that candidates contesting elections will have to declare their sources of income as well as that of spouses and dependents.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S Abdul Nazeer yesterday issued the direction to make it mandatory for candidates to declare not only their assets but also the source of the asset so that it was in the public domain whether the properties were amassed through legal means.

An NGO in its plea had alleged that the election affidavits revealed that a significant increase in the assets of 26 Lok Sabha Members of Parliament, 11 Rajya Sabha Members and 257 MLAs.

It contended that the Representation of the People Act, 1951, mandated the declaration of assets by candidates contesting elections but not the source of their income.