AAP responds to EC notice on donation discrepancies

New Delhi [India], Sep 12: In a rebuttal to the Election Commission’s report on donation discrepancies, the Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday said that the notice sent to the party was based on poor interpretation of basic accounting practices by the Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT).

“AAP had filed the contribution report for the Financial Year 2014-15 with Election Commission for Rs. 37,60,62,631 from various donors. Earlier, the details of multiple receipts from the same donor were disclosed in the Contribution Report,” the party said in a press statement.

“However, later, when asked about a total number of times each donor had contributed, it was explained to the Income Tax Department also. Even the amount of donations in the Original Contribution Report is wrongly mentioned in the notice. Election Commission has copy-pasted and referred grossly incorrect and biased observations of Income Tax Department in its aforesaid notice,” it added.

The Election Commission of India had issued a notice to the party earlier in the day, seeking an explanation regarding discrepancies in the donation amounts filed by the party during the financial year 2014-15.

The commission also demanded an explanation as to why action should not be taken against the AAP for failing to comply with lawful directions and asked the party to send a representative to the EC office within 20 days of the notice being issued.

“It is stated that the bank account of the AAP has recorded total credits of Rs.67.67 crore, including Rs.64.44 crore from donations in excess of Rs.20,000. However, the party has disclosed total income of Rs.54.15 crore from donations in its audited accounts for the year. Therefore, it has been held by the Assessing Officer that Rs.13.16 crore have not been accounted for by the party and these donations have been held to be from unknown sources,” the notice read.

The EC report further stated that the party took accommodation entries from hawala operators to the tune of Rs. 2 crores, which, the EC said, had been wrongly disclosed as voluntary donations by the AAP.