Court: Probe BJP, Cong for receiving foreign funds

TNN | Jan 18, 2014,

PANAJI: In two separate orders, the Panaji judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) has directed the Panaji police inspector to file FIRs against the state units of the BJP and Congress for allegedly receiving illegal foreign funds amounting to 5 crore each from UK-based mining company Vedanta Resources PLC.

Based on a complaint filed by Ribandar resident Kashinath Shetye, the JMFC issued two separate orders on Wednesday, noting that the two political parties apparently received funding from Sesa Goa Limited which is a subsidiary of Vedanta, with its head office in UK (England).

The JMFC order states, “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.”

The JMFC has directed the Panaji police inspector to file the FIRs against the two political parties within seven days of receiving its order and to report compliance.

Shetye had filed two separate complaints against BJP and Congress in December 2013.

He had prayed that the JMFC direct the Panaji police to register the FIR and investigate the matter properly.

In his complaint against BJP, he named chief minister Manohar Parrikar, past and present BJP presidents Laximikant Parsekar and Vinay Tendulkar, MP Shripad Naik, office bearers including central BJP leaders for receiving “donation of Rs 5-crore 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 also Union finance minister P Chidambaram. The complaint said that the Congress also received donation of Rs 5-crore in 2003 and 2004 from Vedanta to regularize the company’s illegal mining in Goa.

Shetye informed the JMFC that police were turning a blind eye to the illegalities due to heavy political pressure in connivance and in criminal conspiracy with high government officials. tnn

The allegations

Section 2(1)g(ii) of The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 says subsidiary of a foreign company is treated as foreign company

Vedanta Resources, incorporated in UK, has subsidiary companies in India including Sterlite Industries, Sesa Goa and Malco

Section 3 of the FCRA prohibits financial contribution from foreign source or company to a political party registered in India



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