The Times of India
New Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Thursday sought a response from the Centre and the Election Commission on a plea for court-monitored probe by an SIT or the CBI into foreign funds allegedly received by the Congress and the BJP.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Indermeet Kaur asked the home ministry and Election Commission to file their reply within two weeks. The PIL claims both national parties received funds from UK-based Vedanta Resources and Indian PSUs.

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 PIL filed by NGO 'Association for Democratic Reforms' and former secretary E A S Sarma. The petitioners have also alleged that the two parties violated various laws in receiving funds from foreign and Indian sources.

The PIL, which made the Centre, EC, Congress 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 claimed 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 came up before the bench after Justice VK Jain recused himself on Wednesday from hearing the case, without assigning any reason.

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