Foreign Funding of Political Parties, Delhi HC asks Centre and ECI to respond
A bench of Delhi High Court comprising of justices Sanjay Kishen Kaul and Indermeet Kaur, heard 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.
Petitioners of the PIL
a) Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)
b) Dr. EAS Sarma, former secretary to the Government of India
Grounds of the PIL
a) INC and the BJP have violated Section 29B of the Representation of People’s Act 1951, which categorically prohibits them to take donations from government companies and from any foreign source
b) The donation of huge sums of money made by the Vedanta Group (being a foreign company) to major political parties like INC and BJP is in clear violation of the FCR Act of 1976 and the FCR Act of 2010.
c) The donation of huge sums of money by the public sector undertakings (who are also State within Article 12 of the Constitution) to the political parties is in violation of Section 293A of the Companies Act.
The Government of India's stand has still not been placed on record. There is an additional issue raised in the writ petition qua contributions made by the public sector enterprises and the State Governments and learned ASG states that the affidavit filed by him does not cover that aspect. Next date for hearing is 16-07-2013.
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