New Delhi

The Delhi HC on Monday gave "last opportunity" to look into the accounts of political parties, including Congress and BJP, for traces of foreign funds.

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said it was giving six months to te MHA for complying with its 2014 judgment, which had found both parties flouting the FCRA norms by accepting donations from Indian subsidiaries of UK- based Vedanta Resources. Section 4 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) prohibits a political party or a legislator from accepting foreign contributions. On March 28, 2014, the high court had ordered the Election Commission and the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to look into the accounts of parties and take action within six months.

The MHA sought extension of time till March 31 next year to comply with the court's directions saying that the records were "voluminous in nature and a few decades old" hence it required more time to "collect, collate and then analyse them".
Appearing for Association for Democratic Reforms, an NGO, on whose plea the HC had passed the order, advocate Pranav Sachdeva pointed out to the court that even after the lapse of three years the government had not taken any action. The NGO submitted that the Centre remained in noncompliance with the judgment of the Delhi HC.

The Centre contested the allegation and informed the court that the ministry of corporate affairs has constituted teams to inspect the share-holding patterns of the companies which have extended donations to the political parties. After hearing the arguments the bench said it will give one last opportunity to the government and extended the time period by six months.

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