New Delhi, 7 May-2014(IANS): The central government on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that its probe into the foreign funding received by the AAP is underway, and donations received by the party from Indians living abroad was not in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
AAP’s foreign funding not in violation of the law: Centre tells HC
The central government told the court that eight people with foreign addresses made donations to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Their passport numbers as mentioned in the contribution report of Election Commission were checked and it was found that they possess Indian passports and NRIs holding Indian passports are not foreign sources, it added.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal. Image used for representational purposes. PTI
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw, after a brief hearing, posted the matter for 9 July. Filing an affidavit, the home ministry said: “The statement of bank accounts of AAP and its units were scrutinized to ascertain whether any donation received is from foreign sources but the bank records does not reveal whether the source is domestic or foreign.” “The details of contributions in excess of Rs 20,000 in 2012-13 filed by AAP with Election Commission of India were also collected and scrutinized.
The details of contributions revealed that eight persons with foreign addresses have made donations to AAP. Their passport numbers as mentioned in the contribution report of Election Commission of India were checked and it was found that they possess Indian passports.” “Moreover, it is submitted that NRIs holding Indian passports are not foreign sources. Hence donation received from them is not treated as foreign contribution as per FCRA, 2010,” said the affidavit. The court was hearing a public interest litigation that alleged that AAP has been receiving foreign funds in violation of the FCRA.
The AAP had earlier told the court that it was the only party whose financial records and other details were open for public view and it got donations of Rs 30 crores from Indian citizens only, out of which Rs 8.5 crores came from NRIs. Earlier, the court had directed the central government to go through details of the money donated to the AAP since its inception on 26 November, 2012 and to take action if anything was found in violation of the FCRA.
The plea named former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, advocates Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan and party member Manish Sisodia. It alleged the AAP and its members were promoted and funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the US through various companies and trusts such as Ford Foundation.