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SC refuses petition of political parties seeking exemption of Income tax
November, 15th 2008

The Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition seeking an enquiry and also to examine the accounts of all the political parties who have failed to give details of the contribution received by them and getting the benefit of exemption from paying income tax.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam dismissed the petition filed by Association of Democratic Reform praying for direction to the Union Government and Commissioner of Income Tax to initiate steps to take appropriate action against the defaulting political parties to recover the income tax due from them from the date of default till date.

The petitioner have also sought a direction to the Election Commission of India to furnish the list of all political parties registered with it who have not filed their contribution report in terms of section 29 C of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951.

Submission of details of contribution by the political parties to the Income Tax Department was made mandatory till 2003 for enjoying the benefit of Section 13 A of the Income Tax Act According to the petitioner at present there are more than 900 political parties existing in the country which include National, State and unrecognised parties and it is not known how many of them are complying with the statutory mandate of Section 29 C of the RPF.

The petitioner had earlier filed an application under RTI act seeking information from the Election Commission of India seeking detail of the contribution received by 21 National and State level parties.

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