SC rejects plea against waiver of tax on donation to political parties
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to do away with the exemption granted to political parties from paying tax on donations received into their party account.
A PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma had challenged this exemption under the Income Tax Act. Dismissing the petition, a Bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that the exemption was an “executive” action and cannot be faulted on the ground that only political parties enjoy this privilege.
Moreover, the SC found no material to suggest that the above exemption given to political parties went contrary to other provisions in the Income Tax Act or the Representation of People Act that allows parties to receive donations.
The exemption was contained in Section 13A of Income Tax Act that was challenged in the petition. The plea also sought a direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to register an FIR and probe political parties and their funding in the wake of demonetization.
Sharma argued that political party as a term is not defined in the Constitution. But the SC replied that such terms are defined under statute as the Constitution even does not define Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), which too is entitled under law to receive money.
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