03 Feb, Delhi: The Income Tax department on Thursday has asked the Election Commission of India to cancel the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) status as a political party for allegedly filing “false and fabricated” audit reports on donations amounting to Rs 27 crore, highly placed sources told The Hindustan Times.
The Income Tax department said the “false and fabricated” audit reports were filed in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and hence “the registration of AAP as a trust and as a party could be revisited and cancelled” in a six page report.
The AAP dismissed the charges as “yet another dirty trick by the BJP just 48 hours before voting in Punjab and Goa”.
The report has details of discrepancies between the AAP’s statement to bank, what the party published on its website and filings with the Election Commission.
The department alleged that Rs 20.5 crore donations to AAP out of Rs 50.6 crore shown by the party in 2013-14 and Rs 6.5 crore in 2014-15 are from dubious sources.
The report said that 177 donors from a list of contributors shown in the AAP’s 2013-14 income tax filings were missing from a revised list submitted to the poll panel after the department began its probe. The list of donors included only those who contributed more than Rs 20,000 each.
The tax authorities also detected discrepancies in the identities of 874 donors named in the first and revised lists.
“…It was admitted by the treasurer of the party, vide his reply filed on 15.10.2016, that certain errors had been noticed in the contribution report” for 2013-14.
The tax authorities began probing Arvind Kejriwal’s party’s finances in 2015 after allegations of Rs 2 crore donation by four shell companies surfaced. It found that an income tax and sale tax practitioner, Deepak Aggarwal, was using these shell companies on commission.
Last week, the department had questioned Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo, Mayawati’s brother and his wife over their assets acquired since 2010.