New Delhi [India]: The Election Commission of India has ordered the deletion of 111 registered unrecognised political parties that it found to be “non-existent” and referred three of the parties to the Department of Revenue for legal action for “serious financial impropriety”, an EC statement said.
This was the second such action in the recent past against registered parties that have been found violating the Representation of the People Act, 1951. On May 25, the EC had deleted 87 non-existent registered unrecognised political parties. In a press statement issued today, it read, “The Election Commission of India issued an order dated May 25, 2022, to nudge the Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPPs) for ensuring due compliances after Commission’s meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey. In the said order, Chief Electoral Officers were directed to initiate action for enforcing due compliances by RUPPs for relevant sections 29A and 29C of the RP Act 1951.”
As a follow-up to the May 25, 2022, decision to delete the 87 non-existent RUPPs, in the second phase of the current exercise, the Commission on Monday decided to delete 111 additional RUPPs from the register.
These 111 RUPPs, whose address of communication, was statutorily required as a registration requirement under section 29A(4); any change in address was required to be communicated to the ECI under section 29A(9), which they have not complied with.
CEOs have reported that these RUPPs either have been found to be non-existent on verification or the letters issued by them, in pursuance to the Commission’s order dated May 25, 2022 have returned undelivered by the postal department.
Commission further decided that any party aggrieved from this may approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer/ Election Commission within 30 days of the issue of this order along with all the evidence of existence, other legal and regulatory compliances including year-wise annual audited accounts, contribution report, expenditure report, updation of office bearers including authorised signatories for financial transactions (including bank account).
The segregated list of such RUPPs shall be sent to respective Chief Election Officers (CEOs) and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for requisite action under an extant legal framework.
Further, a reference has also been sent to the Department of Revenue for necessary legal and criminal action against 3 RUPPs involved in serious financial impropriety. A list of 1897, 2202 and 2351 RUPPs for non-submission of Contribution Reports in FY 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively has also been shared for taking all consequential action as per RP Act 1951 read with the relevant provisions of the IT Act 1961.
A list of 66 RUPPs which have claimed income tax exemption without submitting contribution reports as mandated under section 29C of the Act has also been shared with the Revenue Department. This exercise which commenced on May 25, 2022, will continue to be in operation and will be systematically followed up.