The Supreme Court has declined immediate relief to NGOs, including Missionaries of Charity, who lost Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration after the Centre said that the licence extension was given to NGOs that filed timely applications, India Today reported.
The Supreme Court refused to pass an interim order to protect around 6,000 NGOs. The court asked them to make a presentation before the Centre for the renewal, which would then decide as per the law.
The top court said it does not want to interfere in the matter now and that the NGOs should first approach the government. If they are unhappy with the decisions, the case could be heard in court. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) turned down their request for licence renewal on December 25, 2021.
There are around 6,000 entities whose FCRA registration was cancelled. The MHA had said registration was earlier not renewed as "some adverse inputs" were noticed.
The foreign contribution licences of 5,968 non-governmental organisations was cancelled, including Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, after failing to comply with revised guidelines or apply for renewal. A total of 12,580 NGO licences under the FCRA have expired as of December 31, 2021, of which 5,789 licences lapsed on January 1, 2021.
The total active NGOs registered under FCRA have now decreased from 22,797 to 16,829.
After amendments to the FCRA in 2020, 18,778 NGO licences were due for renewal between September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2021. Among 18,778 NGOs, 12,989 applied for renewal, out of which 179 cases, were denied. Before December 31, 2021, 6,791 NGOs' licences were deemed to have expired.
Those that have had their licences cancelled include Hamdard Education Society, Delhi School of Social Work Society, DAV College Trust and Management Society, India Islamic Cultural Centre, Nuclear Science Centre in JNU, India Habitat Centre, and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, among others. Medical Council of India, Emmanuel Hospital Association, Tuberculosis Association of India, Asha Kiran Rural Educational Development Society, and Chaitanya Rural Development Society are also on the list.
(Inputs from Aneesha Mathur, Sanjay Sharma)
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