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I-T returns of parties: apex court refuses to issue directions

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to pass directions asking political parties to file income-tax returns...

| New Delhi |
November 15, 2008 12:57:37 am

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to pass directions asking political parties to file income-tax returns as there seems to be no public interest in the PIL filed before it.

The NGO, Association of Democratic Reforms, had approached the court claiming that none of political parties had filed I-T returns for the financial year 2006-07 and sought that directions be issued to the I-T Department to seek Income-Tax return details of the parties.

But the Bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, noted that the PIL was filed merely to garner publicity on the eve of elections in the six states. Observing that the court wasn’t empowered to give directives to the Government or its department, the Bench remarked: “We don’t think this is our duty to do so.” The Court did not appear convinced by the submissions of the petitioner’s advocate, Kamini Jaiswal, on the issue of jurisdiction to entertain the PIL. She pleaded hard before the court citing a 1996 SC judgment on the same issue, but failed to convince the Bench.

Earlier Jaiswal also argued that political parties get donations and are bound to file returns if the donation is beyond Rs 20,000. She said the PIL raised the important issue at a time when money power has been playing a dominant role in the political system.

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