Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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EC’s power to deregister political parties

It refers to an affidavit filed by the Election Commission at Supreme Court wherein election-watchdog has desired legislation to empower Election Commission to deregister political parties. Registered political parties are mushrooming with their numbers now swelling over 2000 with only a few having contested elections that too only occasionally and not regularly. Possibility is that such non-serious political parties get registered only to whiten black money through Income-Tax (IT) exemptions under sections 13A, 80GGB and 80GGC with both contributing and receiving ones getting tax-exemptions.

In view of possible misuse that was pointed out by BJP in the year 2007 in response to the initiative by the then Election Commissioner Navin Chawla to derecognise BJP, auto-deregistration of political parties failing to contest any election in last say five years on some minimum stipulated seats may be there. At the same time, another provision of allowing group of people submitting a signed representation to Election Commission on a common symbol may be there to eliminate requirement of registration as political party by seriously contesting group of people on a common platform. Such groups can later be recognised as political parties if so desired.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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