The Supreme Court today issued notice to Centre and Election Commission on BJP’s plea challenging Delhi High Court’s verdict holding the ruling party along with Congress prima facie guilty of violating the foreign funding law by receiving donations from UK-based Vedanta Resources’ subsidiaries.
Agreeing to hear the appeal, a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu issued notice and tagged the case with plea filed by Congress which also challenged the verdict.
Challenging the order, BJP contended that the High Court erred in interpreting the law and Anil Agarwal and members of his family hold more than 50 percent share in the company and any contribution made by them will not be deemed to be contributions from a foreign source.
“The High Court did not appreciate that the petitioner and other political parties have not violated any provisions of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 or 2010, as the donations made by these two even though Vedanta Resources Plc is a foreign company for the purposes of Section 591 of the Companies Act,” the petition said.
It contended that Vedanta is owned by an Indian citizen, and its subsidiaries are incorporated here, therefore they are not foreign sources.
The High Court had held that Vedanta is a foreign company as per the Companies Act and therefore, the Anil Aggarwal-owned company and its subsidiaries, Sterlite and Sesa, are foreign sources as per Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The verdict was delivered on a PIL by NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms and E A S Sarma, a former secretary of the Government of India, who had alleged that the two political parties violated the Representation of People’s Act and FCRA by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources.