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Notice to Centre on probe into Vedanta funding to INC, BJP

The Centre and the Election Commission were asked Thursday by the Delhi High Court to respond to a plea for court-monitored probe by an SIT or the CBI into the funds allegedly received by the Congress party and the BJP from UK-based Vedanta Resources and Indian PSUs.



New Delhi: The Centre and the Election Commission were asked Thursday by the Delhi High Court to respond to a plea for court-monitored probe by an SIT or the CBI into the funds allegedly received by the Congress party and the BJP from UK-based Vedanta Resources and Indian PSUs.

"Let respondents one (Ministry of Home Affairs) and two (Election Commission) file their reply within two weeks. List this matter after three weeks on February 4," said a bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur.

For the time being, the court, however, did not issue notices to the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea Filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms and former government Secretary E A S Sarma.

The petitioners have also alleged that the two parties have violated various Indian laws in receiving funds from the foreign and Indian sources.

The PIL, which impleaded the Centre, EC, INC and BJP as parties, has also sought directions to the government to "initiate action against the major political parties and corporate groups under FCRA and to confiscate the illegal donations under the supervision of the high court."

The petition has said that UK-based Vedanta Resources and its subsidiary companies in India, including Sterlite Industries, Sesa Goa and Malco "have donated several crores of rupees to major political parties like the INC and the BJP."

The plea was listed for today after Justice V K Jain recused himself, without assigning any reason, from hearing the matter which was listed yesterday before the bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan.

PTI

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