Business Standard
New Delhi

The Delhi High Court will hear tomorrow a PIL which has alleged that various Indian laws have been violated by the Congress party and the BJP by receiving fundings from UK-based Vedanta Resources, a case from which a judge recused today.

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

"The honourable judge (Justice Jain) is recusing himself. Put up for hearing before another bench tomorrow," Chief Justice D Murugesan said moments after advocate Prashant Bhushan started his arguments on the PIL filed by an NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms and E A S Sarma, a former Secretary of the Government of India.

A bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur will hear the matter tomorrow.

The PIL, which has impleaded the Centre, the Election Commission, Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as parties, has sought a direction for a "thorough court-monitored investigation by SIT or the CBI into the violation of foreign funding and other laws by major political parties, corporate groups and PSUs."

The PIL has alleged that the two political parties have violated the Representation of People's Act 1951 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by taking donations from government companies and foreign sources, which is prohibited under both the legislations.

The petition 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 PIL has also alleged that according to Vedanta's annual report of 2012, it had made political donations to the tune of USD 2.01 million either through a trust or directly in respect of the Indian general elections.

"Sterlite's annual report (of 2011-2012) also states that during the year the Group made political donations in India, of Rs 5 Crore either through trust or directly," it said.

The PIL has sought directions to the Centre 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."

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