Govt cancels licences of 4,470 NGOs

Govt cancels licences of 4,470 NGOs

Upping its fight against erring NGOs, the Centre has cancelled the registration of 4,470 outfits, including Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s “Kabir”, the Supreme Court Bar Association and Escorts Heart Institute, barring them from receiving foreign funds.

Official sources said the decision was taken by the Home Ministry after it found that they had violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), including non-filing of annual returns. A senior official said all the NGOs were given proper notice by the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry before their FCRA licences were cancelled.

Besides Kabir, one NGOs that got its registration cancelled was “Sampurna”, run by Sobha, wife of Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta. Other organisations whose FCRA licences were cancelled include Punjab University, Chandigarh, Gujarat National Law University, Gargi College, Delhi, Lady Irwin College, Delhi, and Vikram Sarabhai Foundation.

Around 9,000 NGOs had faced action in April for not filing the mandatory returns. The NGOs are supposed to file their returns for every fiscal even if they did not receive any foreign donation.

According to ministry documents, the cancellation process of the 4,470 NGOs started on May 5 and the highest number was on Tuesday when 971 were deregistered. In past one year, NGOs were facing trouble as the Home Ministry was insisting on completing paper work.

Greenpeace and Ford Foundation bore the major brunt after the Home Ministry clipped their wings on foreign donation front. Last Saturday, India denied entry for a Greenpeace activist Aaron Gray-Block and deported him. In January, Greenpeace India activist Priya Pillai was offloaded from a London-bound flight in New Delhi airport.  The Delhi High Court later overturned the action by the Home Ministry and Pillai’s “offload” passport stamp was expunged in May.

The Centre had in April blocked Greenpeace India’s bank accounts, following which the NGO had to seek interim relief from the Delhi High Court. No Karnataka NGOs figure in the fresh list.

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