A bench of justices Pradeep Nanrajog and VK Rao asked Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra to respond by October 23 to the PIL filed by advocate M L Sharma.

The court also asked the Centre to place on record the inquiry report prepared by the government earlier on a similar complaint against the civil society by the next date of hearing.

"Respond to us before the next date of hearing of the matter as the factual aspect in the PIL needs little clarification," the bench said, asking the senior law officer to file the report by way of an affidavit.

The court order came after Mehra submitted that the issue raised by Sharma in his PIL has already been investigated and a report was prepared on the issues earlier by the government and he would like to produce the same before this court.

Meanwhile, Prashant Bhushan, one of the respondents in the case, contended that the petition is malafide and in the earlier report also the government had not found anything against the civil society.

However, the court said it will hear him in detail on the next date of hearing. Sharma, in his plea, has cited some names including that of Kejriwal and sought that "a direction be issued to register a criminal case against the respondents (AAP members) under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) and to conduct day-to-day trial proceedings within supervision of the court in the interest of justice."

The plea says the Act prohibits any funding from foreign countries for a political party.

(Agencies)

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