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 in the PIL
a) Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)
b) Dr. EAS Sarma, former secretary to the Government of India
Respondents in the PIL
Respondent no. 1: Union of India (UOI)
Respondent no 2: Election Commission of India (ECI)
Respondent no 3: Indian National Congress (INC)
Respondent no 4.: Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE BADAR DURREZ AHMED, ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE VIBHU BAKHRU
Total number of hearings
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 hearing in the matter of Association for Democratic Reforms and others vs. Union of India was convened ON 21-08-2013. The court did not hear the arguments as the respondent number 1 (Union of India) and 3 (Indian National Congress) had not submitted their counter affidavits in time. All the respondents were given a three weeks time to submit their counters. BJP, though had submitted its counter.
The Court therefore has scheduled the next date of hearing on 29th January, 2014.
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