Home/ News / India/  I-T dept conducts raids against unrecognised political parties across India

The income tax department on Wednesday launched raids in multiple states as part of a tax evasion probe against registered unrecognised political parties (RUPP) and their alleged dubious funding, news agency PTI reported. The I-T sleuths began the searches in Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, and other states.

A coordinated action has been launched by the tax department against the RUPPs, their linked entities, operators, and others, the agency informed.

The raids are being done on the recommendation of the Election Commission (EC) which recently struck off 87 entities from its list of RUPP after they were found non-existent during physical verification.

The poll panel had announced that it was taking action against more than 2,100 registered unrecognised political parties for flouting rules and election laws, including those related to the filing of monetary contributions, failing to update their address and names of office bearers.

It had said some of these parties were indulging in “serious" financial impropriety.

In May this year, the election commission found 87 non-existent parties. The EC said such parties would be deleted from the list and their benefits under the Symbols Order (1968) withdrawn.

According to EC, as many, as 2,796 registered unrecognised political parties were listed until September 2021--an increase of over 300% since 2001. The Commission said the registered parties were required to comply with Section 29 C of the Act and furnish a contribution report. Section 29A (9) of the Act mandates every political party to communicate any change in its name, head office, address etc without delay. All parties have to submit audited annual statements and a return of income for each assessment year to be eligible for exemption from income tax.

The parties need to include in their constitution that they must contest an election conducted by the ECI within five years of registration. The parties need to add their election expenditure statement within 75 days in case of Assembly polls and within 90 days in case of Lok Sabha election.

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Updated: 07 Sep 2022, 10:47 AM IST
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