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SC may hear plea on tax relief for political parties

The Supreme Court is likely to hear a writ petition to declare as unconstitutional certain provisions of the Income-Tax Act and the Representation of the People Act giving “100 per cent tax exemption” to political parties.

The petition filed by advocate M.L. Sharma has challenged the constitutionality of Section 13A of the Income-Tax Act of 1961 and Section 29 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The petition has asked why ordinary persons are taxed while the political parties enjoyed tax exemption.

“Political parties registered with the Election Commission are 100 per cent exempted from paying income tax if they file Income-Tax returns every assessment year along with audited accounts, income/ expenditure details and balance sheet,” the petition said.

Demonetised notes

Mr. Sharma said the petition necessitated when the Finance Secretary on December 16 declared that no investigation would be done against the political parties’ accounts and funding upon depositing of old demonetised notes owing to the 100 per cent tax exemption.

“This is a serious financial injury to the citizen of India. If it is not stopped and quashed it will endanger the whole society, life of the citizen of India,” the petitioner said. The petition also seeks the SC’s intervention to respond to several questions of law like whether the Constitution recognises the need for a political party membership for membership in Parliament and State Legislative Council and Assembly?

“In the present scenario, parties work for themselves to garner maximum seats in the House by hook and crook. They serve no social and moral service to the country. On the other hand, they have been at the root of corruption,” the petition alleged.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 1:58:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-may-hear-plea-on-tax-relief-for-political-parties/article16913696.ece