New Delhi: National parties submitted incorrect, incomplete or no PAN details for over 20 per cent of the total donations they received in the last five years, an analysis of their contribution reports by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) has found.
This is a violation of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling, which says that no part of Form 24A, in which national parties submit their contribution details in excess of Rs 20,000, should be blank.
The seven national parties include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India and CPI (Marxist).
In all, between financial years 2013-14 and 2017-18, the seven parties received Rs 2,140.36 crore. Of this, the parties did not file any PAN details of donors for Rs 438.96 crore and submitted incorrect or incomplete details for donations amounting to Rs 14.65 crore.
According to the ADR, the BJP was the worst offender, as it did not provide PAN details for Rs 281.55 crore (64.14 per cent of the total) and handed in incomplete or incorrect PAN details for Rs 8.10 crore.
The BJP was followed by the Congress, which did not provide PAN details for Rs 150.59 crore and handed in incomplete or incorrect PAN details for Rs 5.614 crore.
Flouting Supreme Court ruling
ADR said the parties show scant regard for the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling, routinely failing to submit the PAN details. In fact, the tendency to circumvent the rules tends to peak during election years.
According to ADR’s analysis, the maximum discrepancies were reported in the Lok Sabha election year of 2014. It said parties did not submit details of donations worth Rs 275.76 crore in that year alone; they also filed incorrect or incomplete details for donations worth Rs 6.887 crore.
“It is suggested that the ECI (Election Commission) publicise on its website, details of the action taken (if any) against political parties that fail to provide required details (such as name, address, PAN and mode of payment) of individuals, companies or entities making donations in cash,” the ADR said in its report.
“Incomplete contributions reports having missing or incorrect PAN/mode of payment details must be returned to the parties by the ECI, to deter them from providing incomplete information.”