FCRA registration: SC to hear plea against Centre's decision today

Published on : 07:34 AM Jan 24, 2022

The Supreme Court will hear a petition today against the Central government's decision to halt the renewal of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA licenses of around 6,000 non-profit organisations. The FCRA registration is mandatory for any association and NGO to receive foreign funding.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear a petition today against the Central government's decision to halt the renewal of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA licenses of around 6,000 non-profit organisations. The FCRA registration is mandatory for any association and NGO to receive foreign funding.

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The petition filed by the US-based NGO Global Peace Initiative has said the move will impact the Covid-19 relief and other humanitarian work carried out by the NGOs in the country that is currently in the middle of yet another Corona wave. The plea seeks extending the FCRA Licenses of these NGOs till at least COVID-19 remains designated a "national disaster".

"These NGOs, which play a prominent role in society, have been mandated to renew their registration certificates, under sections 12 and 16 of the FCRA. In the absence of such renewed and relatively more onerous registration licenses, the NGOs have been prohibited from receiving and/or utilising foreign contributions to their organisations. The foreign contributions, in fact, are generally of vital importance for the smooth operations of such organisations. Therefore, any prohibition on the NGOs from receiving and/or utilising such foreign contributions severely and unfairly impact the financial viability of running such organisations, and is violative of fundamental rights of such organisations," the plea states. Advertisement

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Earlier this month, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the FCRA licences of over 12,000 NGOs and other organisations had expired as "half of these organisations had not applied for the renewal of their licenses".

According to the official website related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, among organisations and entities whose registration under the FCRA ceased or validity expired include the Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, Indian Institute Of Public Administration, Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Foundation, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi College of Engineering and Oxfam India.

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Among those organisations whose FCRA registration ceased were Medical Council of India, Emmanuel Hospital Association, which runs over a dozen hospitals across India, Tuberculosis Association Of India, Vishwa Dharamayatan, Maharishi Ayurveda Pratishthan, National Federation Of Fishermen's Cooperatives Ltd. The Hamdard Education Society, Delhi School Of Social Work Society, Bhartiya Sanskriti Parishad, DAV College Trust and Management Society, India Islamic Cultural Centre, Godrej Memorial Trust, The Delhi Public School Society, Nuclear Science Centre in JNU, India Habitat Centre, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi College of Engineering and All India Marwari Yuva Manch are also among these entities.

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.

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Read: MHA restores FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity

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