EC deletes 111 ‘non-existent’ parties from list of registered political outfits

EC deletes 111 ‘non-existent’ parties from list of registered political outfits

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has removed 111 ‘non-existent’ parties from the list of registered political parties.

There was no existence of these 111 Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs). These were also found to be in violation of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

It may be noted that the Election Commission does not have the power to deregister any political party. The proposal for electoral reforms in this regard is still pending with the government.

However, it may raise the issue of financial irregularities of political parties. Also, it can demand the political parties to compulsorily comply with the following rules:

  • Sources and methods of receiving donations,
  • Disclosures by companies,
  • Bank account details etc.

The Election Commission has initiated action against several registered unrecognized political parties under Section 29A and 29C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. These parties were claiming tax exemption without fulfilling the mandatory requirements.

Concerns related to Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)-

  • Many of these parties were found to be present only on paper or letters sent to their addresses were returned.
  • Some people misused income tax exemption on donations given to registered parties.
  • Some registered unrecognized political parties were found to be engaging in “serious financial impropriety”. It is possible that some such parties are collecting donations and using them for some other purpose. For example some of these may be acting as shell companies and doing money laundering.
  • According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the annual audit report of only 8.23 ​​per cent of registered unrecognized political parties for the year 2019-20 is publicly available. Whereas the annual contribution report of 5.72% of the registered unrecognized political parties is publicly available.

Source – The Hindu

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