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Foreign Funding Case: Delhi HC issues show cause notice to GoI, ADR files contempt petition

Delhi High Court issued show cause notice to the Home Secretary, Government of India for not implementing its four year old order of taking action against Congress and BJP for violating the provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 1976.

The notice was issued after a ‘Contempt Petition’ filed by Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) and Mr. E.A.S. Sarma were accepted by the Delhi High Court (HC).

The HC Judge Justice Manmohan issued a show cause notice to the Union Home Secretary in this regards and directed the Government of India to file its reply within four weeks. The next date of hearing is on July 20, 2017.

“The Delhi HC in its judgment dated 28th March, 2014 had found both Congress and BJP prima facie guilty of accepting foreign funds and violating the provisions of FCRA, 1976. The government was required to comply with the Delhi High Court order within six months. Against the High Court’s order, Congress and BJP had separately filed Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) in the Supreme Court on 26 June, 2014, and 26 August, 2014 respectively, and consequently the matter became sub judice,” said Maj Gen (Retd.) Anil Verma , Head of the ADR.

On Tuesday, the high court asked the government and the Election Commission (ECI) to act against the two political parties within six months.

“The SLPs in the Supreme Court were “dismissed as withdrawn” on November 29, 2016. Despite the fact that there was no interim relief granted by the Apex court on the SLPs filed by BJP and INC, the government remained completely noncompliant and recalcitrant,” said Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, IIM Ahmedabad (Retd) and Founder Member of the ADR.

On Dec 5, 2016, ADR wrote letters to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Election Commission of India (ECI) urging them to implement and comply with the directions of the Delhi High Court and take action against two national parties BJP and Congress as ‘contemplated by law’ within a specified period of six months.

Contempt petition was subsequently filed by ADR as Government of India has wilfully disobeyed the direction of the High Court and failed to take action against the offenders even after three years of passing of the said judgment of the High Court.

The court held that UK-based Vedanta Resources is a foreign company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956, and therefore, the firm and its subsidiaries — Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa — are a foreign source as contemplated under the act.

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