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FCRA proceedings couldn’t be dropped only because respondent received amt. from his NRI father

October 21, 2019[2019] 110 343 (SC)

FCRA : High Court by impugned order held that amount received by respondent from his father who is NRI out of latter's personal funds through normal banking channels is outside purview of FCRA, as same cannot be said to be received from a 'foreign source', however, correctness of defence whether such amounts were received by respondent from his father or not is a serious factual dispute. It is not an admitted position, as recorded by High Court. High Court also committed an error in observing that, even otherwise, there is material to show that funds were indeed a gift from father of respondent and prosecution has neither disputed said fact as false nor alleged that funds in question did not belong to father of respondent. The said observation made by the High Court is also contrary to the record.

• When it is mainly defence of respondent that funds were received from his father, burden is on him to prove that he received such funds from his father, as such, no permission was required. Even with regard to applicability of provisions under FCRA, 1976, findings are to be recorded after trial.

• Accordingly, impugned order is set aside. It is open for trial court to proceed from stage at which proceedings were stopped and to decide same in accordance with law, uninfluenced by any findings and observations made by this Court or High Court.

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