Graded action to be initiated against over 2,100 unrecognised political parties: ECI
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to initiate graded action against over 2,100 Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPPs) for non-compliance with statutory requirements under the Representation of the People (RP) Act.
All the parties have been accused of financial irregularities and non-submission of annual audit reports on time and not giving details of election expenses.
There are also a large number of such parties, who have not participated in the 2019 elections, yet they have got tax exemption of crores.
During verification, 87 parties were found to be non-existent.
They will be removed from the list and their benefits will be withdrawn under the Symbol Order (1968).
According to ECI over 92% of the then listed 2,354 RUPPs did not file their contribution reports in 2019.
In the year 2018-19, 199 parties claimed income tax exemption of ₹ 445 crore while in 2019-20, 219 parties claimed exemption of ₹ 608 crore.
Of these, 66 parties had sought exemption without submitting the mandatory contribution report.
In addition, 2,056 parties were yet to file annual audit accounts for 2019.
In 2019, only 623 parties contested the Lok Sabha elections.
Mandatory legal provisions
The registered parties are required to comply with Section 29 C of the Representation of the People (RP) Act and submit a contribution report.
Such contributions were given 100% exemption from income tax as an incentive to parties to strengthen electoral democracy.
Section 29A (9) of the Act mandates every political party to inform the Commission about any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, PAN without any delay.
Parties will have to make a provision that they have to contest elections conducted by the Election Commission within five years of registration.
On participating in the election, they have to submit their election expenditure statement within 75 days in case of Assembly elections and within 90 days in case of Lok Sabha elections.
Any aggrieved party can approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer with full facts within 30 days of the order of the Election Commission.
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