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Congress, BJP taken to court over foreign funding

January 10, 2013 17:03 IST

The Delhi high court has directed the Election Commission and the central government to file its response on a petition seeking action against political parties, which have violated the law relating to foreign funds.

The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishen Kaul and Indermeet Kaur ordered notices to this effect.

The petition filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms alleged that two political parties -- Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have violated the Representation of People's Act, 1951 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources, which is prohibited under both legislations.

The petition alleges that the donation of huge sums of money made by the Vedanta Group (being a foreign company) to major political parties like Congress and the BJP is in clear violation of the FCR Act of 1976 and the FCR Act of 2010.

The donation of huge sums of money by the public sector undertakings to the political parties is in violation of Section 293A of the Companies Act.

The BJP and Congress have confessed to receiving foreign funding

Both parties have declared in their annual contribution reports submitted to the Election Commission 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'.

After hearing the petitioners, the Delhi high court has asked the Union home ministry and the EC to file their responses within two weeks.

The court has also said that the two political parties will be called upon to respond only after going through the responses.

The next date of hearing in the matter has been set as February 4, 2013.

Vicky Nanjappa