EC threatens action against AAP for discrepancies in electoral-funding reports
Flagging discrepancies in AAP's electoral funding statement, the Election Commission Tuesday threatened the party with action for "prima facie failing" to follow its transparency guidelines. In its show-cause notice, the EC claimed that transactions through hawala operators were "wrongly disclosed as voluntary donations". The EC has asked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to respond to the notice "within 20 days". Here's more.
EC can suspend or withdraw recognition of a party
Rule 16 A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order allows the EC to either suspend or withdraw recognition of a recognized political party. The notice said the AAP had submitted the original contribution report for Financial Year 2014-15, which was received by it on September 30, 2015. But the party later submitted a revised report on March 20, 2017.
Original report lists 2,696 donors, while revised report lists 8,264
"The original report contains a list of 2,696 donors with the total donations amounting to Rs. 37,45,44,618 and the revised contribution report shows the total amount as Rs. 37,60,62,631 received from 8,264 donors," EC said. The poll panel said that a report was received from the office of CBDT Chairman in 2018 regarding "concealment of donations received by the AAP" during FY 2014-15.
AAP recorded total credits of Rs. 67.67 crore: EC
Referring to concealment of donations, the EC notice said the bank account of the AAP recorded total credits of Rs. 67.67cr, including Rs. 64.44cr from donations in excess of Rs. 20,001.
AAP disclosed total income of Rs. 54.15cr from donations: EC
"However, the party (AAP) has disclosed total income of Rs. 54.15cr from donations in its audited accounts for the year," the EC notice said. "Therefore, it has been held by the assessing officer that Rs. 13.16cr have not been accounted for by the party and these donations have been held to be from unknown sources," the notice read further.
AAP made 'wrong disclosures' on its official website, says EC
The notice claimed that the party has taken "accommodation entries from hawala operators to the tune of Rs. 2cr. These have also been wrongly disclosed as voluntary donations." Referring to CBDT report, the EC said the AAP made "wrong disclosures" on its official website and also furnished incorrect information to the poll panel under Section 29C of the Representation of the People Act.
AAP's disclosures to EC are incorrect, says EC notice
"It (CBDT's letter to EC) details how the party has changed/revised its contribution report once the correctness of the same was questioned. In conclusion, it is stated that its disclosures to the EC in the form of contribution report are incorrect," the notice said.