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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

BJP, Congress guilty of taking foreign funds: Delhi HC


Petitioners: EAS Sarma and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)

Respondents: Union of India (Respondent 1) and ECI (Respondent 2), INC (Respondent 3) and BJP (Respondent 4)

New Delhi, March. 28 -- In a landmark judgment, Delhi High Court today held major National political parties BJP and Congress guilty of taking foreign funding and violating the provisions of FCRA and directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Election Commission of India (ECI) to take action against the two parties within six months.

The Bench comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath has observed that these political parties have taken donations from Vedanta Resources, registered in England and Wales, and its subsidiaries. The Bench also rejected the stand taken by Ministry of Home Affairs which said that FCRA has not been violated. The judgement draws attention to the donations made to INC and BJP for the period up to the year 2009.
Sterlite, Sesa Goa, Public and Political Awareness Trust and Vedanta The Madras Aluminium Co Ltd are all held by the same corporate entity and were found guilty. They have also received mining rights and large tracts of land from the government. It needs to be investigated whether these illegal donations are linked to these business deals.

Dow Chemical Company, which now owns Union Carbide Corporation responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, was also found guilty.

The judgement was announced on a petition filed in public interest by Mr. EAS Sarma, Former Secy, Govt of India, and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in Delhi High Court in January 2013. The petitioners asserted that there is a blatant violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 FCRA) by the two major National political parties INC and BJP. The petitioners have welcomed the judgement.

After 10 hearings, the judgement was reserved on February 28, 2014 and it was delivered on March 28, 2014.

The allegations were based on the annual reports of Vedanta and its subsidiaries M/s Sterlite Industries India Ltd. and M/s Sesa Goa Ltd wherein they declared donations of several crores of rupees to INC and BJP.

Section 4(1)(e) of FCRA, 1976 and Section 3 of FCRA, 2010 categorically prohibit any financial contribution from any foreign source or company to a political party registered in India. Violation of the same is a serious criminal offence. Section 29(b) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 also prohibits political parties from taking donations from Government Companies and from a foreign source. Besides, Section 293A of Company Act, 1956 states that any company found to have made such a donation will be penalized three times the amount contributed to the political party, along with imprisonment of the authorizing officer of up to 3 years.

Pronouncing the judgement, the Bench observed in para 73 of the judgement “…We have no hesitation in arriving at the view that prima-facie the acts of the respondents inter-se, as highlighted in the present petition, clearly fall foul of the ban imposed under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 as the donations accepted by the political parties from Sterlite and Sesa accrue from Foreign Sources within the meaning of law.”
The court has issued two directions in para 74 of the judgement:
·         The first direction would concern the donations made by State Trading Corporation of India and Metals and Minerals Corporation of India to INC in respect of the donations made to National Students Union of India (NSUI). Both MHA and ECI have been directed to investigate the matter to find out whether the same is a “stray incident and possibly a mistake or otherwise.”
·         The second direction would concern the donations made to political parties by not only Sterlite and Sesa but other similarly situated companies/corporations. Both MHA and ECI have been asked to “relook and reappraise” the receipts of the political parties and identify foreign contributions received by foreign sources.

For detailed information on foreign contribution and funding received by INC and BJP during the period 2003-04 to 2011-12, refer to the ADR’s analysis in the Table below:--

Foreign funding to political parties [FY 2003-04 to 2011-12]

Indian National Congress:
S. No
Name
Complete Address of the Contributing Person / Company
Total Donation (In Rs.)
Amount of Contribution (In Rs.)
Mode of Contribution (Cheque / DD / Cash)
Financial Year
1
Sterlite Industries India Ltd
Dhanraj Mahal 5ThFloor Csm Road Apollo Bunder Mumbai-39
  6,00,00,000
1,00,00,000
Cheque No- 486677,dt-27.01.2005 HDFC Bank ltd silvasa
2004-2005
Business Square,C –Wing 2nd Floor, Andheri-Kurla Road Chakala, Andheri (East) Mumbai-400093
5,00,00,000
Ch.No.091394/Dtd.02.04.2009  ICICI Bank, Mumbai
2009-2010
2
Sesa Goa Limited
Sesa Ghar, Pottl, Panaji, Goa
  2,78,50,000
5,00,000
Cheque No 238460 Dtd. 31.05.2005 Canara Bank Panaji, Goa
2005-2006
Sesa Ghor ,Panji Goa
12,50,000
 Canara Bank  Panaji Goa
2007-2008
Sesa Ghor ,Panji Goa
15,00,000
Canara Bank Panaji Goa
2007-2008
Sesa Ghar, 20 EDC Complex , Panjim, Goa-403001
30,00,000
Ch.No.548287/Dtd.15.04.2009Canara Bank Panaji, Goa
2009-2010
Sesa Ghar, Patto Panaji- GOA
2,00,00,000
RTGS, ICICI Bank, Panaji
2011-2012
Sesa Ghar, Pottl, Panaji, Goa
2,00,000
Cheque No 913411 Dtd 20.02.2006 Canara Bank Mapusa, Goa
2005-2006
Sesa Ghar Patto, Panaji Goa
2,00,000
Cheque Canara Bank Panaji
2006-2007
Sesaghar Patto Panaji
5,00,000
Cheque  HDFC bank panaji
2004-2005
Sesa Ghar Patto Panaji
5,00,000
Cheque  Canara bank panaji
2004-2005
Sesa Ghar Patto Panaji
2,00,000
Cheque  Canara bank panaji
2004-2005
3
Solaries Holdings Ltd.
First India Place, Tower C, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon, Haryana-122002
  1,00,00,000
50,00,000
Ch.No.512059/Dtd.21.03.2009    Standard Chartered Bank, Narain Manzil, 23, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-110001
2009-2010
First India Place, Tower C, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon, Haryana-122002
50,00,000
Ch.No.512060/Dtd.21.03.2009   Standard Chartered Bank, Narain Manzil, 23, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi-110001
2009-2010
4
Hyatt regency
4/11 Shanti Niketan New Delhi
5,00,000
5,00,000
Cheque No- 046981,dt-04.05.2004IDBI bank K.G. marg new delhi
2004-2005
Total
Rs 9,83,00,000 (~Rs 9.83 crores)
Table: Details of foreign funding to INC between 2003-04 and 2011-12

Bharatiya Janata Party:
S. No.
Name
Complete Address of the Contributing Person / Company
Total Donation (In Rs.)
Amount of Contribution (In Rs.)
Mode of Contribution (Cheque / DD / Cash)
Financial Year
1
Public & Political Awareness Trust
1/1/2, Chnchpada, Silvasa
14,50,00,000
5,00,00,000
ch. 486377HDFC BANK,NEW DELHI
2003-2004
1/1/2, Chinchpada, Silvasa-396230 (D & NG)
5,00,00,000
RTGS Through HDFC Bank
2011-2012
Silvasa
2,00,00,000
486381 HDFC Bank New Delhi
2004-2005
Silvasa
1,50,00,000
Ch.no. 486678,79, HDFC bank ltd silvasa
2004-2005
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
50,00,000
Ch.no. 486378 HDFC bank silvasa
2004-2005
Padra & Nagar Haveli
50,00,000
Ch.. 486376  HDFC BANK,SILVASA
2003-2004
2
Vedanta The Madras Aluminium Co Ltd

    3,50,00,000
3,00,00,000
104791   ICICI Bank
2009-2010

50,00,000
104792   ICICI Bank
2009-2010
3
Sesa Goa Limited
Sesa ghor 20 EDC complex patto
    1,41,50,000
5,00,000
Cheque No.  362506, Canara Bank Panaji
2004-2005
Sesa ghor 20 EDC complex patto
2,00,000
Cheque No.  364369, Canara Bank Panaji
2004-2005
 Sesa. Ghor  20 EDC Complex Pattc
5,00,000
238464 Canara Bank, Panaji
2005-2006
SESA GOA LTD. SESA GHOR 20 EDC COMPLEX PATTO, PANAJI-GOA
2,00,000
CHEQUE NO. 913853 CANARA. BANK. PANAJI
2006-2007
20 EDC Complex Panaji Goa
15,00,000
Cheque No.-  893723 Canara Bank Panaji
2007-2008
20 EDC Compiex Patto Panaji Goa
12,50,000
Chaque No 541344 Canara Bank Panaji
2007-2008
20 E D Complex Patto Panji, Goa
50,00,000
202831   ICICI Bank
2009-2010
P O  BOX 125, SESA GHOR 20 EDC Complex Patto , Panji Goa – 403001
10,00,000
22753   ICICI Bank
2009-2010

15,00,000
041450 ICCI Bank Ltd.Panji
2011-2012
P.O.Box 125 ,Sesa Ghor 20 EDC Complex Patto Panaji –Goa  403001
25,00,000
042277 ICICI Bank Ltd.
2011-2012
4
DOW CHEMICAL INT, P. LTD.
CORPORATE PARK. UNIT NO 1, V.N. PURAV MARS MUMBAI
         1,00,000
1,00,000
CHEQUE NO. 9189 CITY BANK. MUMBAI
2006-2007
Total
19,42,50,000 (~Rs 19.42 crores)
                                 Table: Details of Foreign Funding of BJP between 2003-04 and 2011-12 from all over India





Media and Journalist Helpline
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Email:adr@adrindia.org
Mr Anil Verma
Head
 National Election Watch, Association for Democratic Reforms
011 4165 4200,+91 88264 79910
 adr@adrIndia.org, anilverma@adrindia.org
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar
 IIM Ahmedabad (Retd.)
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National Election Watch, Association for Democratic Reforms
 +91 99996 20944
jchhokar@gmail.com
Prof Trilochan Sastry
IIM Bangalore
Founder Member,
National Election Watch,Association for Democratic Reforms
 +91 94483 53285
trilochans@iimb.ernet.in


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