The ADR has now requested the Election Commission of India to suspend recognition of those parties who have repeatedly defaulted in submitting election expenditure statements for Assembly Elections
According to the ADR website, among the National Parties, election expenditure statements of BJP and INC are not available for 5 Assembly elections held between 2011 and 2015 followed by CPI defaulting with its submission for 4 Assembly elections and CPI(M) in one Assembly election.
The website states, “The availability of election expenditure statements of Regional Parties is equally worrisome where the statements of JD(U) is unavailable for 15 Assembly Elections while that of LJP is unavailable for11 Assembly Elections and election expenditure statements of RSP and Shiv Sena are unavailable for 10 Assembly Elections held between 2011 and 2015.”
“While it is crucial for political parties to submit their expenditure statements for greater financial transparency, it is equally important to file the same within the time limit set by the ECI and endorsed by the Supreme Court of India. The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of expenditure to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency”, the group further added.
As a result of all these, the ADR has requested the Election Commission of India to issue show-cause notices to those recognised parties which have defaulted in filing their election expenditure statements incurred during Assembly Elections held in the last 5 years.
Earlier, the Election Commission had slammed two political parties for their actions regarding the same reason for which the NGOs’ licences were cancelled. The EC has asked the Home Ministry to act against Congress and BJP, for receiving foreign funds which was in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act(FCRA). The EC noted that both the parties had received donations from companies with majority foreign holdings and therefore it was in violation of the rules laid down in Foreign Contribution Regulation Act(FCRA).
A report by Times of India, stated that the EC had written to the Home Ministry and asked the ministry to take “appropriate action” against them (the political parties involved) under FCRA in order to comply with the HC order.
As per reports, the Home Ministry submitted a list of ‘foreign source’ in response to the letter by the EC providing details of all donations received by Congress and BJP from companies having foreign holding of more than 50 per cent. But so far, the Home Ministry has not come out with any clarification on what action the Central government was planning to undertake regarding the political parties.