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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Clean chit to AAP: Nothing wrong with foreign funding, Centre tells HC

The court directed the government to file a fresh status report in a sealed cover regarding its findings in the matter.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: February 18, 2015 6:03:19 pm
aap, arvind kejriwal, aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal oath The court, however, directed the government to file a fresh status report in a sealed cover regarding its findings in the matter.

Government on Wednesday informed Delhi High Court that nothing has been found against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in its probe regarding allegations that it had received offshore funds in violation of FCRA provisions.

The counsel appearing for the Home Ministry told a bench, comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw, that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report has found nothing against the AAP.

The court, however, directed the government to file a fresh status report in a sealed cover regarding its findings in the matter.

The court reserved the verdict on the plea seeking CBI probe into the past and present foreign funding of AAP in alleged violation of FCRA provisions.

“We will take into consideration all the facts and then decide the matter. Judgement reserved,” it said.

Advocate Pranav Sachdeva, appearing for AAP, said the party had not flouted any law in receiving foreign funds and got donations worth Rs 30 crore from Indian citizens only, of which about Rs 8.5 crore came from NRIs.

Terming the charges levelled against AAP as “baseless”, he said the party has even written to Supreme Court to set up a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the funding of all major national and regional parties in the country.

The plea, moved before the high court on February 4, had also sought CBI probe against Home Ministry officials, who in their report had earlier stated that donations made by eight foreign residents to AAP, were not in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

The plea cited some names, including that of Kejriwal, seeking direction to register a criminal case against AAP members under FCRA and conducting day-to-day trial under high court supervision.

Denying violation of foreign exchange or other laws, AAP had earlier contended that the PIL accusing it and its founding members of having illegally received foreign funding was “scandalous, frivolous, motivated and baseless”.

AAP had claimed that it has “very small amount of funds and has the most transparent method of political funding among all parties”.

The PIL had also alleged that “undisclosed funding to AAP was coming from terrorist groups” and that the party had succeeded in stalling Home Ministry probe against it and managed to get a favourable reply to mislead this court.

It had alleged that it was a case of serious corruption on part of the ministry officials who filed an “un-investigated” report despite high court direction.

The ministry in its report had said that eight people with foreign addresses made donations to AAP and “their passport numbers as mentioned in the contribution report of EC were checked and it was found that they possess Indian passports and NRIs holding Indian passports are not a foreign source.”

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