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Home Ministry cancels Supreme Court Bar Association FCRA registration

Home Ministry cancels Supreme Court Bar Association FCRA registration

Aditya AK

The Union Home Ministry has annulled the registration of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.

According to news reports, the Centre has effectively prevented SCBA and a host of other organisations from receiving foreign funding for their failure to file returns for the period extending from 2010-11 to 2014-15. The organisations were asked to furnish their replies by July 23, failing which action would be taken against them.

Section 13 of the Act empowers the central government to suspend the registration of organizations who violate the terms and conditions of the certificate for one hundred and eighty days. Section 14 confers upon the Centre the power to cancel the registration, in which case the organisation will not be allowed to register for a period of three years. However, this cannot be done without giving the registration holder a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

SCBA President and Senior Advocate RS Suri told Bar & Bench that he was not aware of any foreign funding received by the Association, and that an official statement in this regard will be released soon.

Educational institutions like Delhi University, IIT Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, as well as 1222 NGos have borne the brunt of the Centre’s crackdown.

Last year, the FCRA registration of Indira Jaising’s NGO Lawyers Collective was similarly cancelled by the Centre, in a move that was described by the Senior Advocates as “not only malafide but also incorrect on facts and bad in law”.