AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with party leaders at Ram Lila Maidan in New Delhi on Sunday.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)
The income tax (I-T) department has issued a Rs 30-crore notice to the AAP for allegedly violating norms while collecting donations, an order which the ruling party in Delhi said was “bogus” and an effort by the “people who run the country” to muzzle it.
The notice for tax ‘assessment’ for 2015-16 issued on November 23 seeking the Aam Aadmi Party’s explanation by December 7 has pegged its taxable income at Rs 68.44 crore.
An I-T department official confirmed the notice but refused to divulge the details.
Sources said that the notice has asked the Arvind-Kejriwal-led party, which celebrated its fifth anniversary at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, why it should not recover Rs 30.67 crore from it.
The notice, according to the sources, said that the money received as donations in its bank account was not recorded in the account books. It also has the list of donors, who made donations above Rs 20,000, they added.
The party confirmed it has received the notice and termed it a “malicious” attempt to target it despite the transparent means it has been adopting. It said it will follow legal ways to respond to the notice.
“We set new benchmarks by making donations public which other political parties should learn. Everyone knows where the political donations of other parties come. This is clear selective targeting of the AAP and a vindictive action,” the party’s national treasurer Deepak Bajpai said.
“We know what we are being punished for,” he added alleging that “every single penny that the party has received so far has been declared taxable”.
He said he was not authorised to discuss the merits of the order.
The I-T department issued a notice last year to the AAP, citing discrepancies in the donors’ list submitted to tax officials and what had been put up on the party’s website. The party removed the list of donors from the website over alleged harassment by tax officials.-ht