NGO’s receiving foreign contributions should guard against violating the provisions of FCRA. The following are a few common offences, which are subject to severe penalty and punishment:
I. NGO’s accepting foreign contribution without registration or prior permission.
II. NGO’s having FCRA registration but receiving foreign contribution in different bank accounts.
III. NGO’s having FCRA registration and not filing annual return in prescribed Form.
IV. NGO’s having FCRA registration filing false information in the annual return.
V. NGO’s with FCRA registration or prior permission not maintaining the required books of account.
VI. NGO’s receiving foreign contribution on behalf of other NGO’s not having FCRA registration.
VII. Not filing nil return in the year when foreign contribution is received.
VIII. Diversion of funds for the purposes other than for which they were received.
IX. Not maintaining the separate books of account
X. Mixing of Local funds with foreign funds.
I. NGOs giving false intimation or seeks prior permission or registration by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact.
II. NGOs accepts, or assists any person, political party or organization in accepting, any foreign contribution or any currency or security from a foreign source.
The FCRA Department vide a notification dated the 16th June, 2016, published in the Gazette of India, has specified the list of offenses that are compoundable in nature. Such compounding can be proceeded by the respective authorities mentioned in the Gazzette. In other words, on the directions of the competent authority, any such offense is compoundable on payment of the penalty against the respective offenses mentioned in the Gazzette.
The list of offense along with the respective penalties and officer competent for compounding has been mentioned in the table below:
|Sr. No||Offence||Amount of Penalty||Officer competent for compounding|
|1||Offence punishable under section 35 for accepting any hospitality in contravention of section 6 of the Act.||Rs. 10,000/-||Director, or as the case may be, the Deputy Secretary in-charge of the section responsible for the administration of the Act.|
|2||Offence punishable under section 37 for transferring any foreign contribution to any other person in contravention of section 7 of the Act or any rule made thereunder.||Rs. 1, 00,000/- or 10% of such transferred foreign contribution, whichever is higher.||Director, or as the case may be, the Deputy Secretary in-charge of the section responsible for the administration of the Act.|
|3||Offence punishable under section 37 for defraying of foreign contribution beyond fifty per cent of the contribution received for administrative expenses in contravention of section 8 of the Act||Rs. 1, 00,000/- or 5% of such foreign contribution so defrayed beyond the permissible limit, whichever is higher.||Director, or as the case may be, the Deputy Secretary in-charge of the section responsible for the administration of the Act|
|4||Offence punishable under section 35 for accepting foreign contribution in contravention of section 11 of the Act||Rs. 1, 00,000/- or 10% of the foreign contribution received, whichever is higher.||Director, or as the case may be, the Deputy Secretary in-charge of the section responsible for the administration of the Act.|
|5||Offences punishable under section 37 read with section 17 of the Act for- (a) receiving foreign contribution in any account other than specified account in his application for grant of certificate;||Rs. 1,00,000/- or 5% of the foreign contribution received in such account, whichever is higher;|
|(b) non-reporting the prescribed amount of foreign remittance or source and manner of such remittance by banks and authorized persons.||Rs. 1, 00,000/- or 3% of the foreign contribution received or deposited in such account, whichever is higher.|
|(c) Receiving & depositing any fund other than foreign contribution in the account or accounts opened for receiving foreign contribution or for utilizing the foreign contribution.||Rs. 1,00,000/- or 2% of such deposit, whichever is higher|
|6||Offence punishable under section 37 for non-furnishing of intimation of the amount of each foreign contribution received and the source from which and in the manner in which, such foreign contribution is received as required under section 18 of the Ac||Rs. 1, 00,000/- or 5% of the foreign contribution received during the period of non-submission, whichever is higher.|
|7||Offence punishable under section 37 for not maintaining the account and records of foreign contribution received and manner of its utilization on required section 19 of the Act.||Rs. 1,00,000/- or 5% of the foreign contribution during the relevant period of non-maintenance of accounts, whichever is higher|
In case more than one offence has been committed by a person, the total amount of compounding for such offences shall not be more than the value of the foreign contribution involved.
Under FCRA the Central Government has the power of seizing and confiscating articles and currency if held in contravention.
The relevant sections are as under:
Any article or currency or security which is seized under section 25 shall be liable to confiscation if such article or currency or security has been adjudged under section 29 to have been received or obtained in contravention of this Act.
(1) Any confiscation referred to in section 28 may be adjudged—
a) Without limit, by the Court of Session within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the seizure was made; and
b) subject to such limits as may be prescribed, by such officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Sessions Judge, as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.
(2) When an adjudication under sub-section (1) is concluded by the Court of Session or Assistant Sessions Judge, as the case may be, the Sessions Judge or Assistant Sessions Judge may make such order as he thinks fit for the disposal by confiscation or delivery of seized article or currency or security, as the case may be, to any person claiming to be entitled to possession thereof or otherwise, or which has been used for the commission of any offence under this Act.
No order of adjudication of confiscation shall be made unless a reasonable opportunity of making a representation against such confiscation has been given to the person from whom any article or currency or security has been seized.
The provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 shall apply in so far as they are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act to all seizures made under this Act.
Persons liable for punishments under FCRA
The following persons may be liable to penalties and punishments depending on the nature of the offences:
ii. Chief Functionary
iii. Governing body members
iv. Other officers
v. Other persons who indulge.