Receiving foreign donation cannot be an absolute right: SC

Receiving foreign donation cannot be an absolute right: SC

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Receiving foreign donation cannot be an absolute right: SC

NOEL HARPER & ORS. (WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 566 OF 2021)
 1. The Hon. Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Constitutional validity of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020 (FRCA Amendment Act), which imposed restrictions on the way foreign contributions are handled by organisations based in India and made the following observations:
 2. It is open to the State to have a regime which may completely prohibit receipt of foreign donation, as no right inheres in the citizen to receive foreign contribution (donation).
 3. Indisputably, no absolute right inheres in any one, much less to receive foreign contribution outside the framework delineated by the Parliament and implemented by the executive.
 4. To overcome the mischief and to enhance transparency and accountability regarding acceptance and also utilisation of foreign contribution which is quite substantial every financial year having proliferating effect on the economy of the nation, it had become necessary to enact amended Section 7. (As per amended Section 7, a person who is registered and granted a certificate or has obtained prior permission under the Act to receive foreign contribution will henceforth be required to utilise the amount “itself” and not through any other person.)
 5. No one can be heard to claim a vested right to accept foreign donation, much less an absolute right.
 6. Section 12A should permit the key functionaries/office bearers of the applicant (associations/NGOs) who are Indian nationals, to produce Indian Passport for the purpose of their identification. That shall be regarded as substantial compliance of the mandate in Section 12A concerning identification.

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