Law ministry

ECI at the Ministry of Law: give us the power to deregister deceased political parties

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Ministry of Law to give it the power to strike off political parties that have not participated in an election in recent years.

According to the ECI, 2,700 parties are registered but not recognized. (Representative archive photo)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the Ministry of Law to give it the power to strike off political parties that have not participated in an election in recent years.

With the five-state elections just around the corner, the ECI is in the process of obtaining data from political parties and also browsing its data on various parties.

While going through its data, the ECI came across 2,700 registered but unrecognized parties.

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All these parties benefit from a tax exemption on donations. Sections 29B and C of the Representation of the People Act allow parties to receive voluntary contributions, but parties must report each donation over Rs 20,000 in their contribution report submitted to the ECI.

The parties are exempt from tax under Section 13A of the Computing Act. The law exempts parties’ income from real estate, voluntary contributions, other sources and capital gains.

ECI believes that many parties may be involved in hawala and money laundering because they do not need to disclose their income under various laws.

Sources from the Indian Election Commission told India Today that the Justice Ministry is expected to respond to his request soon.

Sources say the Election Commission request was discussed with Justice Minister Kiran Rijiju.

Many parties registered in Uttar Pradesh fall into the same category and they rake in millions of rupees, especially with the approaching state elections.

The electoral commission is about to defend its case during its meeting with the Ministry of Justice.

The Commission deregistered parties under Article 324 of the Constitution; he is now looking for a law that will allow him not only to deregister but to cancel the registration of dormant parties.

From February 2016 to December 2016, the ECI deregistered 255 registered unrecognized political parties.

In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Commission said it must have the power to deregister a political party.

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