Delhi HC gives Centre ‘last chance’ to scrutinise Cong, BJP accounts for foreign funds
The ministry of home affairs has been asked to comply with a 2014 judgment, which found both parties guilty of flouting FCRA norms by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK-based Vedanta Resources, within a period of six months.india Updated: Oct 09, 2017 19:32 IST
The Delhi high court on Monday gave the government “a final opportunity” to inspect the accounts of several political parties – including the Congress and BJP – for traces of foreign funding.
The ministry of home affairs has been asked to comply with a 2014 judgment, which found both parties guilty of flouting Foreign Contribution [Regulation] Act (FCRA) norms by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK-based Vedanta Resources, within a period of six months. “We are concerned with the compliance of the order,” the court said.
Section 4 of the FCRA prohibits a political party or legislator from accepting foreign contributions. The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the NGO that filed the petition, sought a probe against parties that allegedly violated this rule.
On March 28, 2014, the high court ordered the election commission and home ministry to look into the accounts of political parties and take action within six months. However, the government – represented by standing counsel Monika Arora – wanted the deadline extended till March 31. “Besides being voluminous in nature, these records are a few decades old. Hence, it will take more time to collect, collate and analyse them,” it said.
Advocate Pranav Sachdeva, appearing for the ADR, termed setting a six-month deadline as “unreasonable”. He further submitted that the government hadn’t acted on the matter even three years after the court verdict.