SC notice to Centre on amendment into FCRA

SC notice to Centre on amendment into FCRA

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Union government on a PIL by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, challenging the amendments made in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, with retrospective effect from the year 1976.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud sought response from the government on a plea questioning the validity of changes in the law made through the Finance Act, 2016 and Finance Act, 2018, passed as a Money Bill.

“The said amendments have opened doors to unlimited political donations from foreign companies and thereby legitimizing financial contributions received from foreign sources,” the petitioner contended.

The petitioner, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, claimed the amendments have been made as an attempt to overturn the judgment passed by the Delhi High Court, holding the two major political parties – the BJP and the Congress - guilty of taking foreign funds.

It further contended amendment made in FCRA 2010 through the Finance Act 2016 was already under challenge before this court, which had already issued a notice to the government on October 3, 2010. “However, despite the same being sub-judice, the Parliament has now made the amendment with retrospective effect from 1976 vide Finance Act, 2018 which has come into force from April 1, 2018,” it said.

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