Thursday, June 11, 2015

Licenses of 4,470 NGOs, Including Those Funding Supreme Court Bar Association, Cancelled

In another round of action against erring non-profits, the government has cancelled the licence of another 4,470 organisations. But surprisingly, the list includes a number of top universities, Supreme Court Bar Association and the Escorts Heart Institute, which bars them from receiving foreign funds.

Other prominent organisations whose licences were cancelled under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act include Panjab University, Chandigarh, Gujarat National Law University, Gargi College, Delhi, Lady Irwin College Delhi, Vikram Sarabhai Foundation and Kabir floated by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The Union home ministry's crackdown on the organisations comes after they were found to have engaged in irregularities including non-filing of annual returns. The associations were given a notice asking for reply, official sources said.

In April, the licences of nearly 9,000 NGOs were cancelled for alleged violation of FCRA.

In January, Greenpeace India activist Priya Pillai was offloaded from a London-bound flight by immigration officers in New Delhi airport. She was on her way to UK to address British parliamentarians.

The Delhi High Court later overturned the action and Ms Pillai's "offload" passport stamp was expunged in May.

In April, the Centre had blocked Greenpeace India's bank accounts, following which the environmental group had to seek interim relief from the Delhi High Court. The government had also ordered that funds coming from the US-based Ford Foundation should not be released by any bank to any Indian NGO without the mandatory permission from the Home Ministry.

A crisis response campaigner with Greenpeace International, Aaron Gray-Block, was denied entry into India on Saturday as his name figured in a Home Ministry "black list".

The fresh round of cancellation process of the 4,470 NGOs started on May 6 and the highest number of such voluntary organisations -- as many as 971 -- were de-registered today.

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