New Delhi [India], January 25 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to pass interim order to protect around 6000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) whose registration had been cancelled or declined to be renewed by the Centre under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
A Bench headed Justice AM Khanwilkar asked these NGOs to make representation to the Central government, which would take a decision as per law.
The plea filed by Global Peace Initiative, an organization incorporated in Texas, USA, and Dr KA Paul, founder of the organization, sought direction to the Centre to extend the validity of registration of those organizations that had failed to apply for renewal of registration, till such time as COVID-19 continues to be a 'notified disaster'.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, told the apex court that over 11,000 NGOs have already applied for renewal within the cut off time, and their registration has been extended.
"In light of the stand taken by the authorities we do not intend to pass interim order. Petitioners are free to make representation to the authorities which may be considered by them in according with law," the Bench stated in its order.
About 6000 organizations lost their FCRA registration on January 1, and MHA said that the organizations' FCRA registrations were invalidated as either they did not apply for renewal or were denied on the grounds of lapses.
Under the rules of the MHA, it is mandatory for any organization which wishes to receive foreign funding to register under FCRA. Initially, the registration is valid for five years and can be renewed if the record of the previous five years is in order. First enacted in 1976, it was amended in 2010. The FCRA provisions were enacted to ensure there is no foreign interference in the country's political matters.
(With inputs from ANI)