Panaji: In two separate cases, Panaji police have registered first information reports against office bearers of the BJP and the Indian National Congress for allegedly accepting illegal foreign funds amounting to Rs5crore each from Sesa Goa Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-headquartered Vedanta, and Madras Aluminium Company Ltd. The directors of Sesa Goa Ltd and Madras Aluminium Company Ltd have also been booked. However, police sourced told STOI that no person has been named in either FIR and names would be added during the course of the investigations.
The cases are registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including cheating and criminal conspiracy, Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, and Section 29 B of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951. The FIRs have been registered on the directions of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court, Panaji.
In January this year, based on a complaint filed by Ribandar-resident Kashinath Shetye, JMFC had issued two separate orders, noting that the two political parties apparently received funding from Sesa Goa Ltd. The JMFC orders had further stated that prima facie even the Election Commission of India has found this to be violative of the provisions of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, and the Foreigner Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976, as replaced by Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
Shetye had filed two separate complaints against the BJP and Congress in December 2013. He had prayed that the JMFC direct the Panaji police to register the FIRs and investigate the matters properly.
In his complaint against the BJP, he had named chief minister Manohar Parrikar, past and present BJP presidents Laxmikant Parsekar and Vinay Tendulkar, MP Shripad Naik, office bearers including central BJP leaders for receiving “donation of Rs5crore from Vedanta group subsidiaries like Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa in 2012, of illegal mining money to regularize their illegal mining in Goa and also money received from other Portuguese citizens…”
In his complaint against the Congress, Shetye not only named past state presidents Francisco Sardinha and Subhash Shirodkar and other local functionaries, but also Congress national president and vice-president Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and Union finance minister P Chidambaram. The complaint stated that the Congress also received donation of Rs5crore in 2003 and 2004 from Vedanta to regularize the company’s illegal mining in Goa.