The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew on Tuesday their appeals from the Supreme Court against the Delhi high court verdict that ruled that the two national parties violated the foreign funding law.
Counsel for both the parties submitted before a bench headed by Justice JS Khehar that they would not pursue the cases in view of the 2010 amendment in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) that was implemented retrospectively. Therefore it cannot be held that the two allegedly received funds in violation of the law.
In its judgment pronounced on March 28, 2014, the high court had held that by receiving donations from the UK-based Vedanta Resources’ subsidiaries, the two parties had violated the law.
It had also directed the Centre and the Election Commission to take necessary action against them within six months.
Making a brief submission before the bench, BJP counsel Shyam Divan said the 2010 amendment in the FCRA provides that contribution to a political party is not a foreign contribution if an Indian holds 50% or more share in that firm.
He also said the Indian subsidiary of a company registered in a foreign country can donate funds and those donations cannot be regarded as foreign contribution in view of the changed law.