The Election Commission of India has rejected Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea to de-recognise the Congress for giving a load of Rs. 90 crore to revive National Herald newspaper on the ground of being untenable under any election laws.
“If the (Congress) 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,” the commission said, in a letter to Swamy on Tuesday.
The issue was discussed by full election commission headed by VS Sampath and it reached the conclusion that Congress has not violated section 16 (A) of Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) order, 1968, which empowers the commission to de-recognise a political party.
The order is applicable for violations of the model code of conduct and the commission can de-recognise or suspend recognition of a party if it fails to comply with its order regarding enforcement of the model code of conduct.
The code comes into force when an election is announced and remains in force till completion of the election process.
“There is nothing in your letter to show as to which provision of the Model Code of Conduct has been violated by the Congress party by the aforesaid act of loaning the money to the above named company,” the EC said.
Regarding the Representation of People’s Act, under which political parties are registered and can raise funds, the commission said the law does not give power to the commission to de-register a political party or regulate the manner in which the political parties may use their funds.
KC Mittal former chairperson of Bar Council of Delhi described the Election Commission order as clear and explicit and hoped that it would end the “unnecessary” controversy created by Swamy.
The commission also took strong exception to Swamy’s allegation that it had leaked its decision to the media saying no such decision was made when news appears in sections of the media. “The commission takes serious objection to your allegation,” the letter said.