AAP not replying on funds' source, centre to High Court
The centre informed the Delhi High Court Wednesday that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has not responded to a notice on its source of its funds.
A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath asked the petitioner, advocate M.L. Sharma, to include AAP as a respondent in the case and posted the matter for Feb 5.
Appearing for the home ministry, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra told the bench that the government has written twice to the party to ascertain the source of funds received by it, but AAP has not replied.
"Government had sent two notices to AAP on funding received by it and we are still waiting for their response. We (will) continue our inquiry," the ASG said.
Earlier, the court had directed the central government to go through the details of funds donated to AAP since its inception on Nov 26, 2012 and take action if anything was found in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking a criminal case against AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly receiving foreign funds in violation of the law.
Petitioner Sharma also sought seizure of accounts and funds secured by AAP members.
"A direction to be issued to register a criminal case against the respondents (AAP members) under the FCRA and conduct of day-to-day trial proceedings with the supervision of the court, in the interest of justice," the plea said, naming Kejriwal, advocates Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan and Delhi Environment Minister Manish Sisodia.
The plea said the FCRA prohibits funding from foreign countries for a political party.
However, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the respondents in the case, contended that "the petition is malafide, and in the earlier report also, the government had not found anything against the civil society team".
(Posted on 29-01-2014)