Black Money and Election, Why political parties allowed cash donations?
Criminilisation, involvement of black money and giving tickets to criminals in big way are big threats to democracy of India, in its Amrit Kal Mahotasava.Demonitisation was brought to weed out black money its success or failure may be debated but one thing is sure, it has left political parties untouched on this front.They are still allowed to collect donations in cash over Rs. 2000/- and are not bound to declare it.#Section 13 A of the Income Tax Act, as amended in 2017, says no cash donation exceeding Rs.2,000 shall be received by party.But when it comes to political parties, the same act is not applicable because under the section 29 C of the RP ACT, a political party is free accept donations over and above Rs. 2000 and declare only details of donations made by cheque or any other banking route in excess of Rs. 20, 000.This essentially means that parties need not declare donations received by cheque/draft/electronic clearance between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 20,000.At the same time there is no rule in place to monitor the election expenses of either the party or its candidates contesting the election, thereby defeating the purpose of cap on election expenditure.Similarly, there is no law in place to check foreign donations to a political party, through back door, in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.At present, there is no mechanism to segerate foreign donations at initial stage and the present format of contribution report is not adequate enough to seek additional information.The government has tightened norms for NGOs, seeking foreign donations and has canceled licenses of many NGOs, on account of violation of foreign donation Act but when it comes to political parties, so far it has remained holy cow.A cash rich party, like Mayawati's BSP has ammassed huge wealth, hiding behind these safe curtains.Bahujan Samaj Party, a national party with rich income declares 'nil" donations in excess of Rs. 20,000 in its contribution reports year after year.There are glaring instances of a party declaring large income in its annual report but either no donation by cheque or as low as Rs.1 lakh or so by a single cheque.In another case, the total number of donation coupon issued by a party have exceeded the entire population of a given state.In a daring move, Election Commission has acted against Registered Unrecognised Political Parties over 500 in numbers, who were availing 100 per cent tax exempt donations.But, what about registered recognized political parties, who too are big beneficiaries of such huge cash donations.
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Dr. Ajay Kummar Pandey( LLM, MBA, (UK), PhD, AIMA, AFAI, PHD Chamber, ICTC, PCI, FCC, DFC, PPL, MNP, BNI, ICJ (UK), WP, (UK), MLE, Harvard Square, London, CT, Blair Singer Institute, (USA), Dip. in International Crime, Leiden University, the Netherlands )Advocate & Consultant, Supreme Court of India & High Courts4C Supreme Law International, Delhi, NCR. Mumbai & DubaiTel: M- 91- 9818320572. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org