ED to MHA: Probe AAP for Rs 7cr from foreign donors | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: ED has approached the home ministry seeking action against Aam Aadmi Party for allegedly receiving Rs 7 crore from ‘undisclosed foreign donors’ in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
In its letter to MHA, the agency has accused AAP of shielding the names of Canadian nationals who generously funded the outfit just before the Punjab elections in 2017.
“The investigation revealed that AAP has set up AAP Overseas India in countries like USA, Canada, Australia etc whose primary task was to mobilise foreign funds for AAP India,” ED claimed. tnn
ED: Real identity of its foreign donors concealed by AAP
It is also revealed that a target of overseas donation of Rs 50 crore was fixed for these volunteers in 2016,” ED has claimed, giving emails and phone numbers of at least 19 Canadian nationals who, the agency alleges, had donated over Rs 51 lakh to the party.
ED’s letter said AAP received over Rs 7 crore in foreign funds during 2014-2022 in violation of FCRA, the Representation of the People Act and was punishable under the Indian Penal Code. AAP received funds from multiple donors from North America, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Oman, besides other countries, it said.
“The real identity of foreign donors has been concealed by AAP in their book of accounts to circumvent the restrictions on foreign donations to political parties,” the agency said, according to sources. These donations were allegedly deposited in the party’s accounts in IDBI Bank.
The move, which comes close on the heels of the anti-money laundering agency including AAP in the chargesheet filed in the excise policy case, can potentially have serious consequences for Arvind Kejriwal‘s outfit, including freezing of its funds.
Under FCRA, no political party is allowed to receive funds from foreign nationals.
The ED dossier comes weeks after the home ministry received a letter from Delhi lieutenant governor V K Saxena demanding a probe by NIA against AAP for allegedly receiving huge funds from pro-Khalistan separatists based in the US and Canada in exchange for a recommendation Kejriwal made on Jan 27, 2014 in his 49-day tenure as CM to then President Pranab Mukherjee for clemency to 1993 bomb blast accused Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, currently serving a life sentence.
The LG’s office had attached a letter written by Kejriwal in 2014 assuring one Iqbal Singh of Sikhs For Justice, who had resorted to an indefinite fast seeking clemency for Bhullar, that he has “already written to the President for the release of Prof Bhullar and would also be working on other issues including formation of SIT etc, in a sympathetic and time-bound manner”.
“The analysis of foreign donations revealed that multiple donors used the same passport numbers, emails, mobile numbers and credit cards for donation,” ED’s dossier to MHA said.
A money laundering probe launched against these donations after the arrest of former AAP functionary of Punjab, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, in a drug smuggling case led to recovery of documents revealing huge cash collections made for AAP by its overseas functionaries, according to ED. Khaira, who has now switched to Congress, was later questioned by the agency and he failed to disclose the actual beneficiaries.
ED has accused AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak of allegedly “siphoning off the funds collected during fund-raising in Canada in 2016 for personal benefits”. The agency substantiated its claims through emails exchanged between various AAP volunteers and functionaries, including Aniket Saxena (coordinator of AAP Overseas India), Kumar Vishwas (then convener of AAP Overseas India), Kapil Bhardwaj (AAP member) and Pathak.
Pathak is also being investigated to ascertain his involvement in the excise policy case.
The agency said FCRA violation and other irregularities in receiving foreign funds by AAP emerged during investigation in a case registered in Fazilka district of Punjab against an international drugs cartel involved in smuggling heroin from Pakistan.
The probe began after a special court in Fazilka issued summons to Khaira, then an AAP MLA, as an accused. ED later searched the residences of Khaira and his associates which “resulted in seizure of incriminating documents containing details of foreign donations (four typewritten pages containing list of donors in USA and eight handwritten pages of diary)”, the agency said.


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