New Delhi, November 29
The BJP and the Congress today withdrew their appeals in the Supreme Court on foreign funds following Centre's clean chit that the two parties had not violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976.
Appearing for the BJP and the Congress, senior counsel Shyam Divan and Kapil Sibal told a Bench headed by Justice JS Khehar that their clients had obtained clarifications from the government in the light of the amendment made in 2010 to the FCRA.
The parties did not intend to pursue their appeals in view of the government's assurance, they said. Upon this, the Bench dismissed the appeals as withdrawn.
Appearing for the PIL petitioners, NGO Association for Democratic Reforms and former Union Revenue Secretary EAS Sarma, senior counsel Jayant Bhushan questioned the validity of the Centre's clean chit. He, however, acknowledged he had no right to prevent the two parties from dropping their cases.
The two parties had come to the SC challenging the Delhi High court judgment on March 28, 2014 holding they prima facie violated FCRA while receiving funds. The HC had asked the government to have a relook at the issue and re-appraise the receipts of the political parties to identify foreign contributions and take suitable action within six months.
Under the 2010 amendment, the government had relaxed the norms for political parties for receiving donations from foreign companies wanting to discharge their corporate social responsibility.
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