I-T notice to CPI(M) Thrissur committee 'ill-conceived': Yechury writes to EC

The central agency's action is 'violative' of the level playing field, says the Left

sitaram yechury Sitaram Yechury

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has written to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar stating that the IT notice served to their party's Thrissur district committee on its bank account when the election process has begun is "violative" of the level playing field.

In his letter, Yechury alleged that the action of the central agency is "ill-conceived" and urged the poll panel to put the order in abeyance till the election process is over.

He claimed the details of this account were submitted to the IT and EC as per law and no objections were raised all through the year.

"... We have to draw the attention of the Commission to the actions of a central agency which is not only ill-conceived but thoroughly undermines the level playing field in the run-up to the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, 2024," the Left leader said.

The IT notices served to CPI(M) Thrissur district committee on its bank account are totally "irregular and therefore, condemnable", he alleged in the letter dated April 8 shared by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on X on Monday.

He said the details of this account as part of the country-wide party accounts are already submitted to the IT and ECI as part of the consolidated accounts submitted in accordance with law and displayed on their websites.

"No objections were raised all through the year. It will be also pertinent to point out that several times in the past, the Income Tax authority has commended CPI(M)'s record of compliance with the tax laws," he said.

"Naturally, it is these returns which have been submitted before the ECI. Moreover, even though, it was not required by any legal stipulation, the CPI(M) in order to set an example of probity in public life has been furnishing these details on its website," he said.

"The fact that this is happening when the election process has begun smacks of a premeditated political motivation of the Modi government against the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala," he alleged.

In another tax-related issue, the IT authority had submitted before the Supreme Court that it would not pursue such issues "during the pendency of the election, not to speak of, freezing of any bank account"," he said, apparently referring to the matter related to tax notices to the Congress.

Yechury said they are not aware if the I-T department took clearance from the poll panel before the action, and urged them to give a direction putting the order in abeyance.

"We are not aware as to whether the IT authority had approached the EC for its concurrence before initiating such precipitate action."

"Since, the announcement of the election and MCC is in enforcement, this action by the I-T authority is violative of a level playing field and the stated objective of holding a free and fair election," he said.

Yechury also noted that the BJP is contesting the Thrissur parliamentary constituency.

"We urge you to issue a direction to the IT authority to put this obnoxious order in abeyance till the election process is over in pursuance of the power provided to the EC under Article 324 of the Constitution," he said.

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala has said the party was maintaining transparency when it came to its bank accounts and funds and the transaction details have already been submitted before the Election Commission and the Income Tax Department. 

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