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Section 17 of FCRA to Open Primary Bank Account at SBI New Delhi Challenged before SC


A Writ Petition is filed before the Supreme Court in India in which the constitutional validity of Section 17 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 is challenged.

Case Title

Jeevan Jyothi Charitable Trust and Ors. versus Union of India and Ors.


Supreme Court of India

Appeal No./Citation

W.P.(C) No. 751/2021

Section covered


Order Result


Date of next hearing


Section 17 of the FCRA, 2010 mandates that the primary FCRA account is to be opened exclusively in a branch of the State Bank of India in New Delhi as notified by the Central government. In this context, the Ministry of Home Affairs vide Notification No. F. No. II/21022/23(35)/2019- FCRA-II dated 7.10.2020 notified the State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch, 11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001 (SBI, NDMB).

According to the petitioner, such a limitation is restrictive and illegal, and it infringes the petitioner's and its members' right to establish organisations under Article 19(1)(c), as well as their freedom to engage in occupation under Article 19(1)(g). 

According to the petition, the Central Government issued a Standard Operating Method (SOP) outlining the procedure for creating the account, as well as the process flow for people who already have a certificate of registration/prior authorization. According to the same, the SBI, Main Branch in New Delhi is required to wait for the Centre to validate the applicant's previous permission/ registration certificate before enabling foreign contribution into the account.

As a result of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2020, petitioner organisations that are not headquartered in Delhi are obliged to open their principal FCRA account at the SBI, NDMB. Once this account is established, the only way to run it is through SBI's net banking services. The petition also said that the amendment wrongly assumes that all charitable organisations in every area of the nation have access to the sort of infrastructure, energy, and internet supply that will allow them to easily utilise net banking. 

According to the petitioners, the modifications in the legislation have resulted in operational delays in receiving fund transfers/ withdrawing money or resolving technical difficulties, as well as limiting their options as customers.

The next likely date of hearing is fixed on 19th July 2021. This case is tagged with the following cases-

Noel Harper vs. Union of India

W.P.(C) No. 566/2021

Vinay Vinayak Joshi vs. Union of India

W.P.(C) No. 634/2021

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