Plea in Delhi HC seeking CBI probe into AAP's offshore funds

A plea was filed in Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking CBI probe into Aam Aadmi Party's past and current foreign funding.

Plea in Delhi HC seeking CBI probe into AAP's offshore funds

New Delhi: A plea seeking CBI probe into the past and present foreign funding to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was on Wednesday filed in the Delhi High Court alleging that it has been receiving offshore funds in violation of FCRA provisions.

The application moved before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also sought CBI probe against the Home Ministry officials, who in their report had earlier stated that donations made by eight foreign residents to AAP, were not in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

Challenging ministry's report, advocate ML Sharma, in an Interlocutory Application (IA) requested that "sources of the foreign funding to the respondents (AAP and its members) from other countries in past/current must be verified/investigated by CBI under supervision of this court for further action and prosecution in the interest of justice."

The application further said, "Issue direction for CBI investigation against the respondents including officials of Home Ministry and to file their report before this court for further action and prosecution."

The court has fixed the matter for further consideration on February 18.

The application was filed before the court which is already hearing a Public Interest Litigation alleging that AAP has been receiving foreign funds in violation of FCRA.

Sharma made AAP leaders Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and Shanti Bhushan as parties in his PIL.

The plea cited some names, including that of Kejriwal, seeking direction to register a criminal case against AAP members under FCRA and conducting day-to-day trial under high court supervision.

Denying having violated any foreign exchange or other laws, AAP had earlier contended that the PIL accusing it and its founding members of having illegally received foreign funding was "scandalous, frivolous, motivated and baseless".

AAP had said it had not flouted any law in receiving foreign funds and got donations worth Rs 30 crore from Indian citizens only, of which about Rs 8.5 crore came from NRIs.

The party had claimed that it has "very small amount of funds and has the most transparent method of political funding among all parties".

However, the PIL also alleged that "undisclosed funding to AAP was coming from terrorist groups" and that the party had succeeded in stalling Home Ministry probe against it and managed to get a favourable reply to mislead this court.

It alleged that it was a case of serious corruption on part of the ministry officials who filed their "un- investigated" report despite high court direction.

The ministry in its report had said that eight people with foreign addresses made donations to AAP and "their passport numbers as mentioned in the contribution report of EC were checked and it was found that they possess Indian passports and NRIs holding Indian passports are not a foreign source."