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Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on legalising foreign funding to political parties

The petitioner contended that the amendments to the FCRA were introduced with retrospective effect to overturn a Delhi High Court order holding the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress guilty of accepting donations from overseas companies.  

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: July 02, 2018 19:45 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the government and sought its response on a plea challenging the amendments to Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act which it said were introduced to bail out the BJP and Congress after a high court held them guilty of taking foreign funding.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud hearing the case, issued notice to the government on the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) plea seeking declaration that the amendments in FCRA 2010 by Section 236 of Finance Act, 2016 and by Section 217 of the Finance Act, 2018 are "void, illegal and unconstitutional".

The petitioner contended that the amendments to the FCRA were introduced with retrospective effect to overturn a Delhi High Court order holding the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress guilty of accepting donations from overseas companies.

The plea against the Delhi High Court judgment was rejected by the top court, said the plea.

The amendments to the FCRA 1976, the PIL said, have "opened doors to unlimited political donations from foreign companies, thereby legitimizing financial contributions received from foreign sources".

Contending that the amendments were contrary to the principles of the separation of powers, it said that the amendment made in FCRA 2010 "vide the Finance Act 2016" was already under challenge before the top court and when matter is sub-judice, the Parliament by the Finance Act, 2018 has now made amendments with retrospective effect from 1976.

(With IANS inputs)

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