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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday issued notice to the Union Home Ministry over allegations of its “draconian approach” over the renewal of FCRA licence to NGOs working in the field of human rights.
“Prima facie it appears FCRA licence non-renewal is neither legal nor objective and thereby impinging on the rights of the human rights defenders both in access to funding, including foreign funding,” the commission observed.
A commission spokesperson said that the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly in his local analysis of FCRA 2010, has submitted a report of the Government of India in 2016 arguing that FCRA is not in conformity with international law, principles and standards as access to resources including the foreign funding is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under the international laws, standards and principles.
The NHRC added that the limitations placed on access to foreign funding will have to pass the litmus tests prescribed by law, imposed solely to protect national security, public safety, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others necessary in a democratic society such as rights and freedoms of others.