The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to grant interim relief to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in a plea challenging the Central government's decision to refuse renewal of their licences under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) [Global Peace Initiative v. Union of India]. .This, after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central government told the Court that renewal applications made by NGOs within the prescribed cut-off period would be considered..A Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar noted the same while also stating that a plea challenging the 2020 amendments to the FCRA is already pending before the Supreme Court. The Court, therefore, said that it will hear the present petition only after delivering its judgment in the petition challenging the FCRA amendments. "We have heard of the parties in the matter of interim relief. The petitioner has sought directions that those NGOs who had FCRA approval in 2021 should be allowed to continue. On this, the Solicitor General submits that those who had applied within cut off time, their previous registration will be considered. We do not intend to pass any orders," the Court recorded.The Court also said that aggrieved NGOs are at liberty to make representations for renewal before the government. "They can make representation to the authorities and the authorities can decide in accordance with law," the Court said..The petition filed by NGO Global Peace Initiative prayed for a direction to be issued to the Central government to exempt all NGOs from the purview of FCRA during the COVID-19 period.The plea further sought quashing of the public notice dated December 31, 2021 to the extent it does not permit NGOs whose applications for renewal of FCRA licences were rejected, from receiving or utilising foreign funds..The FCRA requires NGOs to apply for a licence with the Union Home Ministry to receive funds from abroad for their functioning, in addition to a slew of other conditions on the use of the licence.The petitioner in the instant case is a Texas-based organisation which has worked with several organisations in India, including the late Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, which serves windows and orphans.The plea filed through Advocate Aditya Jain said that the sudden cancellation of FCRA licences amounts to a violation of the rights of the NGOs and the millions of Indians whom they serve."The work done by these NGOs helped millions of Indians. The sudden and arbitrary cancellation of FCRA registration of thousands of these NGOs violates the rights of the organizations, their workers as well as the millions of Indians who they serve. This is especially relevant at a time when the country is facing the third wave of the Covid-19 virus," the petition stated.It also highlighted that a batch of petitions challenging the 2020 amendment to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 are pending before the Supreme Court.The 2020 amendments prohibit transfer of foreign funds (Section 7); require Aadhaar as identification for prior approval, registration etc (Section 12A) and mandate opening of FCRA primary account exclusively in a branch of State Bank of India in New Delhi notified by the Centre (Section 17)..While defending the 2020 amendments to the Act, which among other things put a cap on the percentage of foreign funds that can be used for administrative expenses, the Centre had submitted that the right to life and liberty under Article 21 does not encompass the right to receive unregulated foreign contributions.Read more about the petition here..The Supreme Court had in March 2020 held that an organisation cannot be deprived of its right to receive foreign funding by being declared a political organization merely because it uses legitimate means of dissent for public causes.