The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that there is nothing wrong with the current policy keeping political parties out of the Income Tax ambit, The New Indian Express reported. The bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar dismissed a petition filed by advocate ML Sharma that sought to challenge the certain provisions in the Income Tax Act and the Representation of the People Act.
The apex court asserted that a political party needs to project the political regime it follows. “Each of them [political parties] need financial support, for which they collect money from the public – so they (electors) can be represented in governance and legislation,” the bench said, according to the Hindustan Times. “It’s up to those who govern the country to decide who should be taxed and who should be exempted.”
The apex court said that if agricultural income can be exempted from the Income Tax net, political parties’ funds can also be exempted. It added that the exemptions were an executive action that the court cannot intervene in.
The petition had alleged that political parties enjoyed exemptions that were not available to the common man. Sharma sought to quash 13 (A) of the Income Tax Act, which allows political parties to not be taxed for income from voluntary contributions, income from property, and other sources.