Delhi HC notice to govt on contempt plea on violation of FCRA laws by political parties1 min read . Updated: 21 Mar 2017, 09:59 PM IST
A petition claimed that the Centre had failed to take any action in compliance with the HC order in 2014 holding both the Congress and BJP guilty for taking foreign funding in violation of the FCRA laws
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to the Centre over a contempt petition alleging the government had failed to take action against any of the political party that were held in violation of the law on foreign funding back in 2014.
The matter was brought before justice Manmohan who told the Centre to respond within four weeks.
The petition by the Association of Democratic Reforms, a Delhi-based non-profit, claimed that the Centre had failed to take any action in compliance with the judgment passed by the court in 2014 holding both the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) guilty for taking foreign funding in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 1976.
It has been claimed that the donations made to the political parties were for the period up to 2009 and that the amendment to the FCRA allowing acceptance of funds from foreign entities would not be applicable to them.
The amendment made to FCRA changing the definition of foreign source has retrospective operation from 26 September, 2010 and would not be applicable to the donations in the year 2009 based on which the courts’ order was passed, the petition held.
It was further claimed that donations made by both Sterlite and Sesa, subsidiaries of the mining company Vedanta Resources Plc would be seen as foreign funding as both these companies have more than one half of their nominal value of share capital held by Vedanta which is incorporated in a foreign country— the UK.
In March 2014, the Delhi high court had said that the two political parties had violated the FCRA 1976 by receiving donations from UK-based Vedanta Resources Plc. and its subsidiaries. It also directed the Centre and Election Commission to take appropriate action against them within six months.
Subsequently, the political parties moved the apex court in an appeal which was withdrawn noting a recent amendment to the FCRA, 2010, allowing them to accept funds from foreign entities.
The 1976 law was replaced by a 2010 law which was amended retrospectively in February 2016 in a bid to help firms with over 50% of foreign holding, to conduct their corporate social responsibility activity.
The matter will be heard next on 20 July.