Petitioner pleads for investigation by a special team or CBI

The Delhi High Court will take up for hearing on Thursday, a public interest litigation by a non-government organisation working for electoral reforms seeking investigation by a special team or the Central Bureau of Investigation into alleged receipt of monetary donations from foreign and public sector companies and a State Government by major political parties in violation of various laws.

The petition filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms had on Wednesday come up for hearing before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Darmar Murugesan and Justice V.K. Jain but could not be taken up for consideration due to recusal from it by Justice Jain.

The petition is now listed for hearing on Thursday before another Division Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Indermeet Kaur.

The petitioner organisation through its secretary Jagdeep S. Chhokar and E.A.S. Sarma, former Power Secretary of the Union Government, submitted that it had gathered information of the illegal donations to major political parties from the Union Government’s website, the websites of the companies which had made the contributions and through the Right to Information application.

The petitioner alleged that London-based company Messrs Vedanta Resources and its subsidiary companies had donated several crores of rupees to major political parties like the Congress and the BJP in violation of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act.

Account of statements

The petitioners had accessed the filing of account of statements by the Congress and the BJP to the Election Commission and other relevant official records , and they showed donations made by the Vedanta, other foreign companies, public sector undertakings and a State Government, the petition alleged.

Public sector companies like State Trading Corporation and Minerals and Metal Trading Corporation gave donations to the Congress. The 2008-09 contribution report of the BJP showed that the Gujarat Government had given a donation to the BJP, the petition charged.

The petition further said that Mr. Sarma had written to the Election Commission and the Union Revenue Secretary about the illegal payments to these parties but he received no reply from them.

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