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FCRA registration: SC to hear plea against Centre's decision on January 24

A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari posted the plea filed by US-based NGO Global Peace Initiative for hearing on January 24.

Published: 21st January 2022 12:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2022 07:55 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition challenging the Centre’s decision against renewing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licenses of around 6,000 non-profit organisations (NGOs).

The apex court will hear the matter on January 24 on a petition filed by Global Peace Initiative which urged the court to direct the Centre to exempt humanitarian organisations from the purview of FCRA, which is a mandatory requirement for NGOs to receive funds from abroad, till Covid-19 continues to be a notified disaster.

Calling it a violation of the rights of NGOs, the Global Peace Initiative’s petition said: “Cancellation of the licenses of close to 6,000 NGOs at this point in time will hamper relief efforts and lead to denial of aid to citizens in need.”

Registrations of 5,933 organisations lapsed early this month, for either the home ministry’s refusal to sanction their applications, or for them not seeking renewal. The licence renewal application of Missionaries of Charity was initially rejected by the Centre citing adverse inputs and the petitioners said that adverse inputs cannot be the reason for refusing or not renewing FCRA licences.

On the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charities, the home ministry had said that its renewal application was rejected for failing to meet eligibility conditions. However, it was added to the list of 1,030 NGOs eligible to receive foreign funding in West Bengal afterwards.

“In the absence of such renewed and relatively more onerous registration licenses, the NGOs have been prohibited from receiving and/or utilising foreign contributions. The foreign contributions, in fact, are generally of vital importance for the smooth operations of such organisations. Any prohibition on receiving and/or utilising such foreign contributions severely and unfairly impacts the financial viability of running such organisations, and is violative of fundamental rights of such organisations,” the petition said.



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