new delhi

NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, through activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, accused the Modi government in the Supreme Court on Wednesday of using the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, to harass NGOs while winking at the gross violation of the law by political parties such as Congress and the BJP , both of which have been found guilty of receiving donations from foreign entities. 

In a judgement delivered on March 18, 2014, the High Court had ruled that both parties had received funds from subsidiaries of a foreign entity and asked the government to act against them within six months. This had prompted both the Congress and the BJP to rush to the top court in appeal against the High Court ruling. 
Under the FCRA, subsidiaries of companies registered outside are to be treated as foreign entities. The High Court had upheld this interpretation, much to the discomfiture of the parties. "This government is using the FCRA and harassing NGOs, while stalling implementation of this order," Bhushan contended in his ar guments in court on their appeals. 
Since coming to power, the Modi government has invoked the FCRA against over 10,000 or more NGOs.Some face suspension of their registration to receive foreign funds and others face cancellation of their licenses. These include Amnesty International India, Greenpeace, Ford Foundation and Indian NGOS such as Teesta Setalvad's Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace. Others at the receiving end of state ire has been the NGO of her lawyer Indira Jaising, Lawyers' Collective. 
Setalvad has accused the government of acting mala fide for her work for the Gujarat riot victims. Jaising also claimed she was being targeted for defending Teesta in court. 

"One party is in power and the other is not. The government is doing this to help both (parties)," Bhushan charged in the top court. "These parties have taken crores by way of political donations from these foreign entities." 
Both the Congress and the BJP had received funds from Sesa Goa and Sterlite, both subsidiaries of the UKbased Vendanta group, and had hence fallen foul of the FCRA, the High Court had ruled. 

© Association for Democratic Reforms
Privacy And Terms Of Use
Donation Payment Method