AAP gets EC no­tice in hawala case

Financial Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE -

SUS­PECT­ING fudg­ing of records, the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) has is­sued a show-cause no­tice to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and asked it to ex­plain dis­crep­an­cies in the elec­toral fund­ing state­ment.

The EC no­tice is based on in­for­ma­tion avail­able with it and the tax depart­ment. The no­tice has men­tioned trans­ac­tions with hawala deal­ers claim­ing that the party has taken "ac­com­mo­da­tion en­tries from hawala op­er­a­tors to the tune of Rs 2 crore. A Delhi-based hos­pi­tal chain is learnt to have do­nated the money to the start-up po­lit­i­cal party.

The EC has threat­ened the Arvind Ke­jri­wal-led AAP of ac­tion if it failed the fund­ing trans­parency test. It has given the party 20 days time to re­spond claim­ing that trans­ac­tions through hawala op­er­a­tors were wrongly dis­closed as vol­un­tary do­na­tions.

The Rule 16 A of the Elec­tion Sym­bols (Reser­va­tion and Al­lot­ment) Or­der al­lows the EC to ei­ther sus­pend or with­draw recog­ni­tion of a recog­nised po­lit­i­cal party. The AAP dubbed the EC no­tice sent to it over al­leged dis­crep­an­cies in elec­toral fund­ing 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 N D Gupta said in a state­ment.

The no­tice said that AAP had sub­mit­ted the orig­i­nal con­tri­bu­tion re­port for fi­nan­cial year 2014-15, which was re­ceived by it on Septem­ber 30, 2015. The party later sub­mit­ted a re­vised re­port on March 20, 2017. "The 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," it said.

The poll panel said that a re­port was re­ceived from the of­fice of the CBDT chair­man in 2018 re­gard­ing "con­ceal­ment of do­na­tions re­ceived by the AAP" dur­ing FY15.

This is not the first time AAP fund­ing has been ques­tioned. Last year, it was asked to ex­plain some of the do­na­tions it re­ceived from var­i­ous sources. In the lat­est case, the EC has claimed that 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.