Supreme Court Refuses To Pass Interim Order In Plea By Evangelist K. A. Paul Against Non-Renewal Of FCRA Licenses Of NGOs
The Supreme Court today refused to pass any interim order in the PIL filed by US based Indian evangelist K. A. Paul and his NGO the Global Peace Initiative challenging the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs not to renew FCRA registration of close to 6000 NGOs.
The Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice CT Ravikumar considered the matter today, after it was placed before the three-judge bench which is also seized of the challenge to certain provisions of the amended FCRA Act.
The primary challenge in the petition was to the refusal to renew FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity.
Senior Advocate Sanjay Hedge who appeared for the Petitioners submitted that the prayer relating to Missionaries of Charity does not survive. He submitted that the NGOs are doing good work during the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
SGI Tushar Mehta appeared for the Central Government. He submitted that the registration of 11,594 NGOs that applied within the cut-off date has been extended.
Tushar Mehta questioned the locus standi of the Petitioners by asking how a Huston based person and NGO are concerned with the issue. "Something is amiss", said Tushar Mehta.
Santosh Hegde submitted that the registration of around 6000 NGOs has not been extended.
The Bench replied to the submission by stating that since the registration of the NGOs that applied have been extended, the 6,000 NGOs that have chosen not to apply for registration may not want to continue in the present regime.
Hegde pressed for an interim order in the form of a clarification that for the next two weeks or so, the NGOs can apply for registration.
The Bench said that such an interim order will not be granted and that the Petitioners may make representation before the authorities, which may be considered by them.
Earlier, evangelist K A Paul had made certain announcements on social media regarding his approaching the Supreme Court on this and some other issues.
The Court directed that the matter be listed after the pronouncement of judgment in the batch of cases where amendments to the FCRA Act have been challenged.