Centre has validated the non-renewal of FCRA for NGO

Dec30,2021 #FCRA #NGO

Ambika Bhardwaj

Published On: December 30, 2021 at 13:45 IST

The non-renewal of the Missionaries of Charity’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) citing “audit irregularities” arrives soon after the Government had recently argued in the Supreme Court that NGOs have no Fundamental Right to obtain “unbridled foreign contributions.”

The Government was attempting to justify modifications to the FCRA made in 2020 through the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Petitioners had argued in Court that the provisions were stifling the flow of foreign funds to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in philanthropic activities in India.

There is no risk of Fundamental Rights violations as a result of control system on the affirmation of foreign contributions via certain kinds of organizations, as these organisations or individuals have always been willing to operate with locally safe and secure funds and meet their objectives. Foreign contributions, given their character and wide range of abuse, should be firmly and tightly controlled,” the MHA argued in a 90-page affidavit.

The Government had also red-flagged the use of foreign money to fund actions that were detrimental to national safety and preferences in November.

Because of the firm stance, the Court specifically inquired as to why the MHA was involved in the FCRA as the nodal Ministry.

In response, the Government cited intelligence reports indicating that funds from abroad was being used to fund actions aimed at undermining national peace and stability, including funding for the Naxals.

“There is a component of national safety, integrity of the country involved here. Every agreement is monitored by the MHA from the start,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta described the MHA’s obligation.

Mr. Mehta stated that the FCRA amendments were made to “enhance the process, increase the transparency, and responsibility.” He had stated that prior to the provisions, it was discovered that only a small portion of foreign money were genuinely used by NGOs for their registered aims.

The provisions allowed the Government to keep a close eye on NGOs and make sure that they received and spent foreign donations for the “definite initiatives” outlined in their articles of association.

“Once NGO’s receive hundreds of crores of rupees in foreign funds, it must be recognised that the cash is being used solely for these uses,” Mr. Mehta stated. During the hearing, he told the Court that the authorization of 19,000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had been revoked due to violations of the Law.

Related Post