The Government of India on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that nothing has been found against the Aam Aadmi Party in its probe regarding allegations that it had received offshore funds in violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. The counsel appearing for the Home Ministry told the bench that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report has found nothing against the AAP. These revelations have brought an end to a series of sordid allegations against the party. During the election campaign for the Delhi assembly, no less than Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley labelled the donations to AAP as, “round tripping of black money into the political system”.
The above allegations had come to haunt AAP, a party that has constantly presented the image of clean politics in an arena that is dirty by any standards. The Government of India’s submission has, however, vindicated AAP, which had initially welcomed the probe. As per the rules, political parties in India are supposed to file annual income and expenditure statements with the Election Commission. All contributions above Rs 20,000, with the names, addresses and PAN numbers of the donors, have to be submitted to the EC.
Analysis by the Association of Democratic Reforms, however, show that most parties circumvent this rule by attributing large portions of their income to contributions less than Rs 20,000, with PAN numbers, addresses and names often missing. According to the ADR, 73.5 per cent of the BJP’s funds between 2004 and 2011, amounting to Rs 952 crore, came from unknown sources either because the amounts were listed below Rs 20,000 or information about its major donors were incomplete. The Congress, however, led the way with Rs 1,951 crore.