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EC for probe into donations for Congress, BJP

October 16, 2012 18:17 IST

The Election Commission has come across instances of suspected violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act by Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party in their acceptance of donations from subsidiaries of multi-national firm Vedanta group.

An investigation by the EC, carried out with the help of the I-T department, has found that both the parties had received about Rs 5 crore each from two subsidiaries of the Vedanta group-- Sterlite Industries and the Sesa Goa group.

The donation, prima facie, violates section 29 B of the Representation of the People Act which states that, "No political party shall be eligible to accept any contribution from any foreign source defined under clause (e) of Section 2 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976," official sources said.

The entire transaction, the EC has said in its complaint to the home ministry, should be investigated and probed under the FCRA as they have been made by the firms, which are part of the United Kingdom-based group, that makes them a 'foreign source'.

Vedanta Resources, according to its annual report of 2011-12, had paid $5.69 million (about Rs 28 crore) to political parties in India in last three years.

Without disclosing the identity of the beneficiaries, billionaire Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta has stated on the report that it paid $2.01 million to political parties during  2011-12.

While there were no no comments available from the BJP, the Congress sources denied it had received any foreign' donation. The sources said Congress had received from Sterlite Industries, India, a donation of Rs 5 crore in 2009.

PTI
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