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AAP silent on source of funds: Centre


New Delhi, Jan 29:

The central government informed the Delhi High Court Wednesday that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has not responded to questions on its source of funds.

A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath asked the petitioner, advocate M.L. Sharma, to include the AAP as a respondent and posted the case for Feb 5.

Appearing for the home ministry, Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra told the bench that the government had written twice to the party to ascertain the source of its funds. But the AAP has not responded.

“(The) government sent two notices to AAP… We are still waiting for their response. We (will) continue our inquiry,” Mehra said.

Earlier, the court had directed the central government to go through the details of money donated to AAP since its inception Nov 26, 2012 and take action if anything was found in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking a criminal case against AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for allegedly receiving foreign funds in violation of the law.

Petitioner Sharma also sought seizure of accounts and funds secured by AAP members.

“A direction to be issued to register a criminal case against the respondents (AAP members) under the FCRA and conduct of day-to-day trial proceedings with the supervision of the court, in the interest of justice,” the plea said, naming Kejriwal, advocates Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan and Delhi Minister Manish Sisodia.

The plea said the FCRA prohibits funding from foreign countries for a political party.

However, Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the respondents, contended that “the petition is malafide”.