Led by Chief Election Commissioner (CEO) Rajiv Kumar, the ECI’s action on 339 non-compliant RUPPs takes the tally of defaulting RUPPs to 537 since May 25, 2022.
ECI said that according to the Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, the statutory requirements need every political party to communicate any change in name, head office, office-bearers, address, PAN, etc, to the Commission without any delay.
As many as 86 RUPPs have been found to be non-existent either after a physical verification carried out by the respective chief electoral officers of concerned states and UTs or based on the report of undelivered letters or notices from the postal authority sent to the registered address of the RUPPs.
The ECI had earlier delisted 87 and 111 RUPPs through orders dated May 25 and June 20 respectively. The latest decision against 253 non-compliant RUPPs comes based on reports received from the chief electoral officers of seven states – Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
These 253 RUPPs have been declared inactive as they did not respond to letters and notices delivered to them and have not contested any elections, be it Assembly polls or Parliamentary elections of 2014 and 2019.
They failed to comply with the statutory requirements for more than 16 compliance steps since 2015 and are continuing to default, a senior EC official said.
66 of the above 253 RUPPs have actually applied for a common symbol as per Para 10B of the Symbol’s Order 1968 and did not contest the respective elections.
It may be noted that the privilege of a common symbol is given to an RUPP based on an undertaking for putting up at least five per cent of total candidates with regard to the said legislative assembly elections of a state.
An official release stated, “Possibility of such parties occupying the available pre-election political space by taking benefits of admissible entitlements without contesting elections cannot be ruled out. This also tends to crowd out the political parties actually contesting elections and creates a confusing situation for the voters.”
Meanwhile, any party aggrieved by the decision can approach the concerned chief electoral officer of the election commission within 30 days of the issuance of this direction along with all evidence of existence, other legal and regulatory days of the issuance of this direction along with all evidence of existence other legal and regulatory compliances including year-wise (for all years under default) annual audited accounts, contribution report, expenditure report, updation of office-bearers, including authorised signatories for financial transactions, said the EC.