The ruling BJP was caught in a controversy over funding after it emerged that the party received donations to the tune of Rs 1 crore through identical cheques or demand drafts in 2013-14.
The Association for Democratic Reforms discovered the discrepancies when it analysed the party's contribution report.
The report on donations that the BJP received during the 2013-14 fiscal shows contributions from A to Z Online Services (Rs 84 lakh) and Jumana Goolam Vahanvati (Rs 20 lakh) through cheques bearing identical numbers. Ditto with donations from Ravi Developers (Rs 7.50 lakh) and Ravi Development (Rs 7.50 lakh).
The ADR said a donor named Praveen Kumar gave Rs 5 lakh twice through cheques having matching numbers.
None of these donors provided their permanent account number (PAN), a must to receive income tax rebate for donating money to political parties, it added.
The inconsistencies came as an embarrassment for the party after it accused the Aam Aadmi Party of receiving funds from unverified sources. "I have not checked the facts. But since it is donation by cheque, it is obvious this is just a reporting error," BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao, reprising the party's line that it was a case of typos creeping into the books.
The BJP failed to provide the full name or address of donors or their PAN in six cases. "There is ambiguity in cash donations from 17 donors declared by the BJP which amounted to Rs 24.77 lakh in 2013-14," the ADR said.
The BJP got 69% of donations to political parties during that period from 1,480 donors, almost twice the number of people who contributed to the Congress, the ADR report says. The biggest institutional donors were Sterlite Industries — Rs 15 crore — and Cairn India which gave Rs 7.5 crore.
The Representation of People's Act says parties are required to submit a list of donors contributing more than Rs 20,000 to seek income tax rebate.
The BJP submitted its report in December 2014, almost two months after the deadline.