New Delhi, May 25, 2022- The Election Commission of India has initiated action for enforcing due compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs) for relevant sections 29A and 29C of the RP Act 1951, the officials said here on Wednesday.
The Commission has evidence of serious financial impropriety, wilful attempts for tax evasion and other illegal financial activities against three specific Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs) amounting to fraudulent use of privileges and public trust available to them.
There are 2,796 Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPP) as of September, 2021 which is an increase of over 300 per cent since 2001, the officials further said.
Every RUPP so registered is required to comply with the rules and directions under Section 29C of RP Act 1951, which requires a RUPP to furnish a contribution report as prescribed in Form 24 A under Rule 85B of Conduct of Election Rules 1961. Such contributions received by RUPPs are also 100 per cent exempted from Income Tax as an incentive to the parties for strengthening the electoral democracy.
Eighty seven such RUPPs, in absence of ensuring remedial measures listed above, render themselves liable to be not entitled to have benefits under the Symbols Order, 1968, including allocation of common symbol, the Commission said in a statement.
Three RUPPs which have been reported, prima facie to be involved in serious financial impropriety such as incriminating documents related to bogus donation receipts, formation of shell entities, bogus and non-genuine purchases, facilitating accommodation entries, etc, shall be proceeded against under the extant legal or regulatory regime including entitlement to avail the benefits of Symbols Order, 1968.
It has been reported that income tax exemptions have been taken to the tune of Rs 445 crore in 2018-19 by 199 RUPPs and Rs 608 crore in 2019-20 by 219 RUPPs. Of these, 66 RUPPS have claimed income tax exemption without submitting contribution reports in Form 24A as mandated under section 29C of the Act.
Sixty-six such parties claimed IT exemption in 2020 without complying with statutory requirements under the Representation of the People Act and 2,174 have not submitted contribution reports, the EC said.
“Action will be initiated against those receiving donations without due statutory compliances. Action initiated against three registered unrecognised political parties (RUPPs) reported to be involved in serious financial impropriety.
Eighty-seven non-existent RUPPs shall be deleted from the list and benefits under the Symbols Order (1968) withdrawn,” the poll panel said in a statement.
A total of 100 RUPPs, which have failed to furnish Election Expenditure Statements after the contest of election(s), have violated the directions of Election Commission. They may approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer with full facts within 30 days of the issue of this direction for remedial action, if any, to avoid any consequential action.
Action will be initiated against those receiving donations without due statutory compliances. Action initiated against three registered unrecognised political parties (RUPPs) reported to be involved in serious financial impropriety. Eighty-seven non-existent RUPPs shall be deleted from the list and benefits under the Symbols Order (1968) withdrawn,” the ECI said in a statement. (Agency)