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HomeNewsNGOs can now challenge govt order to cancel FCRA licence

NGOs can now challenge govt order to cancel FCRA licence

New Delhi: Non-Government organisations (NGOs), aggrieved with the cancellation of their Foreign Contribution Registration licences (FCRA), can file an online revision application before the Union home secretary, according to an order issued by the home ministry on Friday. They will be required to pay a fee of Rs 3,000 and provide “justification for the revision order” along with the documents, it stated.

“In exercise of the powers under rule 20 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules, 2011 as amended on July 1, 2022, it is hereby ordered that with effect from September 1, 2022, an application under section 32 of the Act for revision of an order passed by the competent authority shall be made in electronic form,” stated the MHA’s order. The application can be made within a year from the date on which the cancellation order was communicated, it said.

Under section 32 of FCRA, 2010, the Centre had earlier renewed FCRA licences of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), New Delhi and Missionaries of Charity (MOC), Kolkata. However, MHA denied the revision order to Oxfam India asserting that the NGO did not fulfil the eligibility criteria specified in the law. The issue of Oxfam India was raised by the government of the United Kingdom (UK) during the bilateral dialogue held on February 10, 2022.

Early this year, over 6,000 NGOs whose licences were withdrawn had approached the Supreme Court seeking relief. However, the apex court turned down their pleas.

“From August 15, 2022, the applications are acceptable only in electronic mode. Any person who is registered under the FCRA 2010 and is aggrieved of an order of the central government may prefer revision application in terms of section 32 of the FCRA and rule 20 of FCRR 2011,” the order clarified.

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From 2019 to 2021, FCRA registrations of 1,811 entities were cancelled, according to a home ministry reply to the Lok Sabha on March 15 this year. The total number of FCRA registered associations is 16,727.

“NGOs will be required to submit documents clarifying their stand regarding any adverse input flagged by the competent authority,” explained a home ministry official. To receive foreign grants, NGOs must register with the home ministry, which assigns a unique FCRA registration number to be renewed every five years.

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