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    Donations to political parties: SC refuses urgent hearing on IT exemption

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    The Supreme Court  refused an urgent hearing of a PIL challenging a provision of the Income Tax Act exempting political parties from disclosing the identity of the doners contributing upto Rs 20,000.

    Directing the listing of the PIL on January 11, a vacation bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice L. Nageswara Rao querried petitioner lawyer M.L. Sharma about the urgency as the provision has been part of the Income Tax Act since 1961.

    As Sharma pressed for an urgent hearing, contending that political parties were taking advantage of demonetisation and large deposits of upto Rs 20,000 were being made in their accounts, the bench said that the law is in operation for last 50 years and what was happening was that only deposits are being made.

    Apparently not persuaded by Sharma’s plea that political party would withdrew the money so deposited, the bench directed the listing of the matter on January 11, not accepting the plea for a hearing on January 3.

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