Centre’s clean chit to AAP on foreign funds

HC asks government to file status report on findings in sealed cover

February 19, 2015 12:00 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:36 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Eight persons with foreign addresses had made donations to the AAP and they were found to be in possession of Indian passports, says the Home Ministry report.—Photo: R. V. Moorthy

Eight persons with foreign addresses had made donations to the AAP and they were found to be in possession of Indian passports, says the Home Ministry report.—Photo: R. V. Moorthy

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition seeking directions for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the past and present foreign funding of the Aam Aadmi Party, after asking the Union government to file a status report on its findings in the matter. The Centre informed a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw that its investigation so far had not found anything objectionable in the offshore funds received by the AAP.

The allegations that the funds were transferred in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, could not be confirmed, it said.

The court asked the Centre to file a fresh status report on its findings in a sealed cover and reserved its verdict, while observing that it would take into consideration all the facts and decide the matter. The application for CBI investigation was moved earlier this month as part of ongoing public interest litigation in the High Court questioning the sources of the AAP’s funding from foreign countries.

Lawyer M.L. Sharma, who filed the plea, also sought a CBI probe against the Home Ministry officials, who had earlier concluded in their report that the donations made by eight foreign residents to the AAP were not in violation of the Act . The PIL has named Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and AAP leaders Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan as respondents in the case.

AAP counsel Pranav Sachdeva contended that that party had received Rs. 30 crore worth of donations from Indian citizens, of which about Rs. 8.5 crore came from Non-Resident Indians. He said the charges levelled against the AAP were baseless.

In its report, the Home Ministry had stated that eight persons with foreign addresses had made donations to the AAP and they were found to be in possession of Indian passports.

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