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The government today said out of 255 deregistered political parties, as many as 206 are either non-existent or non-traceable.
It further said the Income Tax Department has found that there are 32 political parties which are not active, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
In December last year, the Election Commission had asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to look into the finances of 255 registered but unrecognised political parties for not contesting polls in the last one decade.
"Enquiries in such cases have been undertaken by the Income Tax Department. A majority of the parties (206) are found to be non-existent or not traceable.
"Out of the balance, 32 political parties are found to be existing but inactive. 17 delisted political parties are found to have PAN. Out of these, 4 political parties have filed returns of income at some point of time disclosing income below taxable limit," Gangwar said.
The Commission had asked the CBDT to take "necessary action" if required in view of the provisions listed in section 29B and 29C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 against parties violating the law.
Section 29B states that every political party may accept any amount of contribution voluntarily offered to it by any person or company other than a government company.
According to Section 29C, the treasurer of a political party or any other person authorised by it shall, in each financial year, prepare a report on the contribution in excess of Rs 20,000 received by it from any person in that financial year, and contribution in excess of Rs 20,000 received by it from companies other than government companies in that financial year.
While the poll watchdog has the mandate to register a political party, it lacks power under electoral laws to deregister any party.
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