The Election Commission today rejected Subramanian Swamy’s petition for derecognition of the Indian National Congress on the plea that it violated rules for registration by loaning Rs 90 crore to a company.

The Commission, after its full meeting, headed by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, dismissed the plea holding that it did not fall under any of the grounds specified for derecognition of a political party.

“The ground urged by you seeking derecognition of the party under reference in the present case does not fall under any of the grounds specified under the said paragraph 16A for such recognition,” the Commission said in a letter to Swamy.

The Commission further stated that the November 3 and 5 letters written by Swamy were “not maintainable” under paragraph 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, which gives powers to the Election Commission to suspend or withdraw recognition of a recognised political party for its failure to observe Model Code of Conduct or follow the Commission’s directions.

The Commission has also said that even though the Representation of People Act, 1951 provides for the manner in which the registered political parties may raise their funds, “there is no provision whatsoever in that Act prescribing the manner in which the political parties may use those funds.”

The EC letter further states that, “If the party has not complied with any of the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as alleged by you, that matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission.”

Swamy had earlier alleged that the Indian National Congress headed by Sonia Gandhi be derecognised by the Election Commission on the grounds that the party had loaned more than Rs 90 crore to a company named Associated Journals Private Limited, in violation of the guidelines and rules for registration as well as recognition of political parties.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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