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Plea before Supreme Court challenging non-renewal of FCRA Licenses of NGOs

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FCRA Law insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: January 20, 2022 at 17:57 IST

Recently, a writ petition was filed before the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs cancelling/refusing to renew the registration under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 of about 6,000 NGOs.

The petition was filed by NGO Global peace Initiative, which is a Texas-based organization with its offices all over the world including India. Apparently, it has worked with several organizations in India, including the Missionaries of Charity associated with late Mother Teresa.

The Petitioner sought direction to be issued to the Central government to exempt all NGOs from the purview of FCRA during the COVID-19 period. Besides that, the Petition also sought quashing of the public notice dated December 31, 2021, to the extent it does not permit NGOs whose applications for renewal of FCRA licenses were rejected, from receiving or utilizing foreign funds.

The petition stated that the work done by NGOs had helped millions of Indians and the sudden and arbitrary cancellation of FCRA registration of thousands of these NGOs violates the rights of these organizations, their workers as well as millions of Indians who they serve.

The Petitioners also argued that the cancellation of licenses can have a debilitating effect on the Covid relief efforts. Further, a contention was raised that the refusal to renew the license is ex-facie illegal and liable to be set aside.

The Supreme Court agreed to list the matter on January 24.