EC serves showcause notice to AAP over donation discrepancies, party alleges ‘bias’ of central agencies

Earlier this year, the CBDT had flagged an alleged mismatch in AAP’s actual and reported donations to the EC, pointing out that it was in violation of the Representation of the People Act.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 11, 2018 9:33:32 pm
EC serves showcause notice to AAP over donation discrepancies Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)

The Election Commission on Tuesday served a show-cause notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in connection with the alleged discrepancies in donations received by the party during the 2014-15 financial year.

Issuing the notice, the EC asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led party to show cause as to why action should not be taken against AAP for “failure to follow its lawful directions and instructions”.

Citing a report by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the poll watchdog pointed out that the bank account of the AAP has recorded total credits of Rs 67.67 crores from donations in excess of Rs 20,000. However, the party has disclosed total income of Rs 54.15 crores from donations in its audited accounts for the year, it said.

The AAP, however, dubbed the EC notice as “poor interpretation” of basic accounting practices and alleged “bias” of central agencies against it. The party also expressed fear of possible “harassment” by agencies over the issue.

“This notice is based on poor interpretation of basic accounting practices by the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT),” party treasurer and Rajya Sabha MP ND Gupta said in a statement.

He said Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) had filed contribution report for the financial year 2014-15 with the Election Commission (EC) for Rs 37,60,62,631 from various donors.

Earlier this year, the CBDT had flagged an alleged mismatch in AAP’s actual and reported donations to the EC, pointing out that it was in violation of the Representation of the People Act. On January 3, CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra wrote to the then Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti, informing him of the adverse assessment order on AAP’s finances for the financial year 2014-15 (assessment year 2015-16). The missive states that the party contravened provisions of Section 29(C) of the RP Act.

ALSO READ | CBDT red-flags mismatch in AAP donations to Election Commission

On November 27 last year, the AAP was slapped with a notice by the income tax department. The party responded by claiming that the order was an attempt by the Centre to “crush the Opposition”.

(With PTI inputs)

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