The ministry of home affairs restored the FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity on Saturday. Government sources said the NGO’s licence was renewed after it submitted necessary documents to the concerned department.
On December 27, 2021, the MHA had cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the Mother Teresa-founded NGO due to “adverse inputs". A home ministry official said the organisation will now be able to receive foreign funding and can spend the money in its bank accounts.
While the Centre had cancelled the licence, it did not freeze any bank accounts. The State Bank of India had informed that the NGO itself sent a request to the bank to freeze its accounts.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the government for “freezing” the bank accounts of the NGO even as the matter ran into controversy.
The Missionaries of Charity had approached the MHA with a revision application three days after its FCRA renewal was rejected.
The “adverse inputs” flagged in an audit pertained to land purchase, vehicles in the name of individuals instead of NGO. But the bigger issue was a criminal case filed against its Jharkhand wing. In July 2018, Jharkhand police had registered an FIR against Nirmal Hriday, a shelter of Ranchi run by the NGO. The staff members had been accused of selling babies to childless couples.
Not just Missionaries of Charity, close to 6,000 organisations and entities, including the likes of Oxfam India and Indian Medical Association (IMA), were either rejected or deemed to have lapsed under the FCRA, leaving them unable to receive funds from abroad. Officials had said majority of these outfits failed to apply for renewal of their licences while it has been alleged that withholding FCRA permission was a ploy used to harass outfits critical of the Centre.
(With PTI inputs)