EC threatens to suspend Lalu's party


New Delhi, April 17: The Election Commission has sent a show cause notice to the RJD over its failure to file its annual audit report for financial year 2014-15 despite repeated reminders, asking as to why the partys recognition should not be suspended or withdrawn.

"It is noticed that your party has so far not filed its annual audit report for the financial year 2014-15, although the due date for such filing has long expired on October 31, 2015," said the notice addressed to the ashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President and Treasurer and dated April 13.

The EC made the notice public on Monday.

"Now, therefore the Election Commission hereby gives you a notice to show cause as to why action should not be taken against your party under Para 16A of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, for failure to follow lawful directions and instructions of the Commission," it said.

The poll panel pointed out that it issued "several reminders" to the party on November 11, 2015; January 20, 2016; February 26, 2016; May 25, 2016; October 5, 2016; June 2, 2017; January 12, 2018 and March 13, 2018.

"In the letter dated June 2, 2017, your party was specifically informed that the said letter may be treated as a lawful direction of the Commission within the meaning of Para 16A of the Election Symbols (R&A) Order, 1968," the notice said.

The EC told the party led by former Bihar Chief Minister and Union Minister Lalu Prasad, and recognised as a regional party, that its representation in writing along with the annual audit reports for 2014-15 giving detailed reasons for the default need to be furnished within 20 days from the date of the notice's receipt.

"In case you fail to do so within the stipulated time, your party will be liable, without any further reference to you, for action under Para 16A of the Election Symbols (R&A) Order, 1968," the notice said.

All recognised political parties are required to furnish their annual audit reports of the last financial year to the EC by October-end of the next financial year.

As per Para 16A of the Election Symbols (R&A) Order, 1968, the Commission is empowered to suspend or withdraw the recognition of the defaulting political party if it deems that a recognised political party "has failed or has refused or is refusing or has shown or is showing defiance by its conduct or follow or carry out the lawful directions and instructions of the Commission".




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