EC asks CBDT to look into finances of 200 parties

Election Commission has announced that it is going to delist 200-odd political parties which exist only on paper. Election Commission suspects that many of these dormant parties could be nothing but used for money-laundering operations. These political parties were found to have not contested any election since 2005. EC has decided soon to write to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to look into the financial affairs of these political parties as they are not entitled to any tax benefit that may accrue to the registered political parties.

At present, Election Commission cannot deregister any party that has been given recognition. For long, Election commission supported by the Law Commission has been recommending to make it compulsory for political parties to disclose contributions less than Rs 20,000 so as to ensure transparency in the manner in which funds flow to political parties. At present, the EC has taken the decision to delist 200 parties by making use of its inherent powers under Article 324 of the Constitution, which empowers it to “control the conduct of all elections.”

According to the Election Commission, there are 7 National Parties, 58 State Parties, and 1786 Registered Unrecognised Parties at present.

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