Unrecognized political parties The Election Commission has listed 86 more ‘non-existent’ registered political parties, bringing the number of such political parties red-flagged by the electoral body to 537 for non-compliance and failure to comply with election rules.
The EC, in its statement, said that in the larger public interest and for the purpose of “integrity” of electoral democracy, “immediate corrective measures” were required and therefore declared 253 additional registered unrecognized political parties (RUPPs) inactive.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey took this decision.
An additional 253 as ‘dormant RUPPs’ and EC today listed 86 more non-existent RUPPs out of which 339 are non-compliant RUPPs with this action taking the number of defaulting RUPPs to 537 as of May 25, 2022,” EC.
According to the report, the EC said that 86 RUPPs listed were “found to be non-existent after a physical verification conducted by the respective Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of the concerned States / Union Territories or on the basis of reports of undated letters. /Registered of the concerned RUPPs Postal authority notice sent to the address”.
Action was taken against 253 non-compliant RUPPs based on reports received from CEOs of various states such as Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. They have been recorded as inactive, “letters/notices sent to them have not been responded to and these defunct unrecognized parties have not contested a single election to a State General Assembly or Parliamentary Elections 2014 and 2019.”
They are also accused of tax evasion.In some states, the Income Tax department organized raids against some RUPPs as part of tax evasion investigations against them. In view of the EC action, the IT department took a decision in May-June based on the EC action against RUPP after which it wrote to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to initiate “necessary measures under the existing legal framework”.
In the EC’s latest action against unrecognised, defunct political parties, the 86 defunct RUPPs will be “deleted from the register of RUPPs and held themselves not entitled to the benefits under the Symbols Order, 1968.”
The EC directed that the aggrieved parties may approach the concerned CEO/Election Commission within 30 days of the issuance of this directive and all proofs of existence and other legal and regulatory compliances of their annual (under default for all years) annual audited accounts, expenditure reports. , contribution report, most definitely asked to submit updated office heads (including bank accounts) with authorized signatories for financial transactions.
(with input from PTI)