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Last Updated : Oct 20, 2020 10:53 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Violations of law won’t be tolerated: India responds to UNHRC criticism of FCRA

UNHRC chief Michelle Bachelet had said the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which prohibits the receipt of foreign funds 'for any activities prejudicial to the public interest' is 'worrying'.

India has responded to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s criticism over curbs on foreign funding to non-governmental organisations, saying “violations of law will not be condoned”.

Michelle Bachelet had said on October 20 that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which prohibits the receipt of foreign funds “for any activities prejudicial to the public interest” is “worrying”.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) chief had also said though “India has long had a strong civil society that has been at the forefront of human rights advocacy…. vaguely defined laws are increasingly being used to stifle these voices.”

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“We have seen some comments by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on an issue relating to the FCRA. India is a democratic polity based on the rule of law and an independent judiciary. Framing of laws is obviously a sovereign prerogative. However, violations of law cannot be condoned under the pretext of human rights. A more informed view of the matter was expected of a UN body,” a News 18 report quoted the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) as saying.

The FCRA, which was adopted in 2010, was amended in September to make it mandatory for office-bearers of NGOs to produce Aadhaar details for registration. It also directed NGOs receiving foreign funding to reduce administrative expenses from 50 to 20 percent of annual funds.

Nityanand Rai, Union Minister of State for Home, had said the legislation looked at improving transparency in the operations of NGOs.
First Published on Oct 20, 2020 10:51 pm
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