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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

MHA wants AAP's clarification over 'foreign funds'

Aloke Tikku , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 26, 2013
First Published: 00:40 IST(26/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:43 IST(26/12/2013)

The Union home ministry is drafting a new questionnaire for the Aam Aadmi Party over charges of alleged foreign funding.

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The ministry had earlier sent a set of 30 questions to the party and was not entirely satisfied with the responses given by AAP. It is drafting some clarifications that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party will need to answer.

Government sources told HT that the ministry had found AAP's response to the first set of questions short on details and would soon seek clarifications from the party. The questionnaire could be sent in a week or so, possibly after the process of government formation in Delhi was completed this week.

In October, the Delhi High Court had asked the home ministry to conduct an inquiry into charges that the party had received foreign funding, a violation under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010, that bars political parties from receiving money from foreign sources.

The high court had set a December deadline for the Centre's report but the home ministry has already sought an extension.

Security sources said the Intelligence Bureau - often asked to inquire into FCRA violations - had not been roped into the probe on AAP's funding so far. One officer said a clean chit to AAP was inevitable since the party headed by a former Indian Revenue Service officer would have been careful to abide by all provisions of financial laws.

At worst, this officer suggested, there could be a couple of cases where an Indian-origin foreigner may have made a false declaration about his citizenship to make a contribution to the year-old party.

The AAP has already made it clear that it does not accept anonymous donations like the other mainstream political parties and maintains a list of its donors on its website, acknowledging even donations as small as Rs. 10.


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