New Delhi

NEW DELHI: The NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) today urged the Special Investigation Teamon black money to examine possible circulation of black money in electoral processes, saying the fight will not succeed without checking the free flow of cash in polls.

In a memorandum to SIT Chairman Justice MB Shah, ADRsought strict regulations for extending funding to political parties as well as their expenditure.

"The task of preparing a comprehensive action plan, including the creation of necessary institutional structures that can enable and strengthen the country's battle against generation of unaccounted monies, and their stashing away in foreign banks or in various forms domestically, cannot be completed unless due attention is paid to possible use of unaccounted money in electoral and political processes," ADR said in the letter.

The NGO, which has been coming out regularly with statistical reports about the electoral process, has been advocating strict regulation of party funding and expenditure, putting of IT returns of MPs in the public domain and scrutiny of under-reporting of election expenditure by candidates.

In the memorandum, the NGO has highlighted various issues related to funding of political parties and asked the SIT to examine the same in the process of investigation.

ADR said the parties have been shying away from disclosing assets and IT returns and are reluctant to follow transparency guidelines. It said they could not also explain "exponential growth" in their assets and in that of their candidates.

"Out of more than 1,600 registered political parties, only 464 contested in the Lok Sabha elections held in 2014, thus raising the question on the need for registering as a political party when they are not actively taking part in the political process." ADR said.

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