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21.07.2017
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The Delhi High court on Thursday asked the Centre on its inaction against Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for accepting foreign funding in violation of law despite the directions of a court in 2014.

Justice A K Chawla observed that the delay in implementing the court order was "unjustified" and gave six weeks time to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to file a compliance report in this regard.

The judgment, which was passed in 2014, had found both the national parties violating the norms of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCR) by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK-based Vedanta Resources.

The compliance report was sought while hearing a contempt plea filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) alleging non-action of the government against the political parties.

Appearing for MHA, its counsel informed the court that the records were 40 years old, voluminous and it would take time to go through them. He also said that notice has been issued to both the parties to file documents

Earlier, on March 28, 2014, the High court had ordered the Election Commission and the MHA to look into the accounts of both Congress and BJP for foreign funds and take action within six months.

Appearing for ADR, its counsel Pranav Sachdeva, informed the court that even after three years of the order no action has been taken so far.

In its plea, ADR had contended that since there has been wilful disobedience on the part of the government in compliance with the impugned order, they are liable to contempt of court and proceedings should be initiated accordingly.

The court had held that UK-based Vedanta Resources is a foreign company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956, and, therefore, the firm and its subsidiaries -- Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa -- were foreign source as contemplated under the Act.

It had also directed the Centre to look into the donations made to political parties by not only Sterlite and Sesa, but other similarly situated companies or corporations.

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