The final hearing on the Congress’ plea challenging a Delhi high court verdict holding it and BJP prima facie guilty of violating the law on foreign funding, would start in the Supreme Court from September 14.
While fixing the date for final hearing, an apex court bench, comprising Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra, on Tuesday made it clear that no adjournment would be granted in the case.
The high court had said that by receiving donations from UK-based Vedanta Resources’ subsidiaries, the two mainstream political parties had violated the law concerned.
The Congress had sought an immediate stay on the March 28, 2014 high court verdict which had directed the Centre and Election Commission (EC) to take appropriate action against them within six months.
Challenging the order, the party had contended that the high court had erred in interpreting the law and “there is no concealment or suppression of such contribution which were duly reflected in the returns submitted to the Election Commission”.
It had contended that Vedanta was owned by an Indian citizen, Anil Aggarwal, and its subsidiaries were incorporated here. Hence, they were not foreign sources.
“The prohibition to make any contribution to a candidate or a political party or office-bearers thereof relates to foreign citizens and Indian entities, if more than one half of the nominal value of share capital of such entities are held either singly or in the aggregate by citizens of a foreign country,” the petition had said.
The high court had held that Vedanta was a foreign company as per the Companies Act and therefore, the Anil Aggarwal-owned firm and its subsidiaries, Sterlite and Sesa, were foreign sources as per the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The verdict was delivered on a PIL by a NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms and EAS Sarma, a former secretary in the government, who had alleged that the two parties had violated the Representation of the People Act and FCRA by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources.