|Press Release: Court issues notices to MHA, ECI, INC & BJP on funding of Political Parties by Foreign Sources & Govt. Companies||adr india||2/4/13 2:40 AM|
Following the first hearing by the Delhi High in the matter of funding of political parties by Public Sector Companies and foreign sources where the court asked the Ministry of Home Affairs and Election Commission of India to submit their responses, today the second hearing took place in the court headed by justice S K Kaul. ECI and MHA submitted their responses before the court.
Following are the highlights of the today's court proceedings:
Date: 4th February 2013
A bench of Delhi High Court comprising of justices Sanjay Kishen Kaul and Indermeet Kaur today, on 4th of February 2013, heard for the second time the arguments of a PIL that has alleged that the two political parties namely Indian National Congress (INC) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) have violated the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) 1951 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources, which is prohibited under both the legislations.
In the first hearing the Delhi High Court had asked the Central Government (Home Ministry) and Election Commission of India (ECI) to file their responses within 2 weeks following the first hearing on 10th January 2013.
Petitioner of the PIL
Responses from ECI
MHA haven’t responded despite the 2 letters from ECI
After MHA failed to respond to ECI in any manner, ECI wrote another letter on 11th January 2013 requesting for a response to its earlier letter and also asked MHA whether any action had been taken in that regard. MHA also mentioned in the court that Congress has submitted the response but BJP is yet to file theirs.
MHA’s dilly-dallying in the court
In its response MHA has confessed in the court that the ministry has received the complaints from the ECI and that they have called upon the Congress and BJP to furnish their responses in this regard.
Prashant Bhushan insisted in the court that Union of India is dragging its feet because the political parties that run the Government have themselves committed serious criminal offences. He further said that since there is an inherent conflict of interest in this matter this investigation should be conducted by an independent authority.
Court issues notices
Concluding the hearing today, the bench issued formal notices to the Union of India, the Election Commission and to the Congress and BJP and asked them to reply within 3 weeks. The Bench also asked the Union of India to take a final decision and action on the issue within the next 3 weeks and file a fresh affidavit.
Grounds of the PIL
BJP and INC have confessed to the foreign funding
Both BJP and INC have themselves declared, in their annual contribution reports submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI), that they have received funding from the Vedanta Group, which is a foreign company listed on London Stock Exchange under the name “Vedanta Resources PLC”.
All the documents related to this PIL can be accessed on ADR website www.adrindia.org
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