Delhi HC issues notice on plea by think-tank Centre for Policy Research against FCRA licence suspension
New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on a plea filed by a think-tank, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), against the suspension of its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Centre.
Justice Subramonium Prasad also directed the Centre to make a decision on CPR’s application for the release of 25 pee cent of funds, which the think-tank had moved after the FCRA licence suspension.
The court asked the government to make this decision before September 5.
During the hearing, the Centre’s counsel mentioned that after the suspension order was passed on February 27, CPR received a show cause notice on August 01 and responded on August 25.
CPR then submitted an application under Rule 14 while the FCRA licence was suspended.
The counsel for Centre stated that the government is following the procedure diligently and is examining the matter carefully.
On the other side, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, representing CPR, requested the release of funds as an interim measure to pay the salaries of employees who haven’t been paid for the past six months.
CPR’s counsel said that the organisation is no ordinary NGO and is the leading think-tank in India.
He said that all allegations in the show cause notice relate to the years 2018 and 2019, and audits by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Home Ministry had found no wrongdoing.
Regarding the application seeking an interim stay of the suspension order, Datar said hat CPR’s operations had come to a halt due to the lack of foreign contributions.
Justice Prasad asked the Union Government to decide on CPR’s application for the release of 25 per cent funds, pointing out that five months had passed without a decision being made.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs suspended CPR’s FCRA licence following surveys conducted by the Income Tax Department on the organisation’s premises.
The suspension lasts for 180 days during which the organisation cannot receive foreign funding, and the foreign funding account’s money can only be used with prior approval from the Union Government.