The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a challenge to an order of the Delhi High Court that refused to establish a politically neutral body to oversee the implementation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
A bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice MM Sundresh dismissed the aforementioned appeal.
On January 10, this year, the Delhi High Court dismissed a PIL petition filed by the non-profit Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), ruling that there was no evidence that FCRA was being used selectively against non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
ADR had filed a petition claiming that the Central Government’s enforcement of the FCRA creates an inherent conflict of interest. The petition stated that a ruling political party may hold opposing views on development, public policy, and national interests, making it difficult for them to implement the Act impartially.
ADR also expressed concerns about the FCRA’s enforcement against political parties, claiming a potential conflict of interest due to the bureaucracy’s close relationship with the political executive. This could result in certain political parties being exempt from FCRA penalties.
The petition also stated that the FCRA may jeopardize judicial independence because it prohibits judicial officers from accepting foreign contributions, potentially leading to wrongful use of the Act against judicial officers.