The income-tax department has issued a ~30-crore notice to the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) for allegedly violating norms on collecting donations, including “hawala entries” worth ~2 crore.
The order for tax assessment issued on November 23 sought the party’s explanation by December 7, saying it “incorrectly disclosed hawala money as voluntary donations”. The AAP said the order was “bogus” and accused the “people who run the country” of muzzling the voice of Delhi’s ruling party. The reference was to the BJP government at the Centre, with whom the AAP has a running dispute over administrative control of Delhi.
The I-T department declared all donations to the AAP in 2014-2015 as illegal, revoking tax exemptions given to it as a party.
The order came with the penalty notice (under section 271 [c]) for allegedly concealing its correct income, PTI reported. The party has also been charged with not correctly reporting political donations received by it as stipulated under the Representation of the People Act.
Tax officials said the AAP was given 34 opportunities to explain its overseas donations, especially around ~13.16 crore it received from supporters from overseas before the 2015 Delhi elections.
The party allegedly did not disclose before the Election Commission details of ~6.26 crore donated by 461 donors — each donation exceeding ~20,000 — during the election campaign.
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