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.
Procedure for seizure of FCRA
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:
- Chief Functionary
- Governing body members
- Other officers
- Other persons who indulge
Overall Summary of FCRA Penalties
To sum up the discussions : Violation of FCRA can attract severe penalties which could be as under : (a) seizure and confiscation of foreign contribution receipts.
(b) Fine upto 5 times the value of the foreign contribution spent.
(c) Inspection and seizure of accounts and records.
(d) Compulsory prior permission requirement even if the NGO is registered under FCRA.
(e) Imprisonment upto 5 years and/or fine.
(f) Prohibition on accepting foreign contribution for 3 years for persons convicted twice.