India on Tuesday, October, 20, 2020 strongly reacted to Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concern over restrictions on NGOs and arrest of activists, said violations of law cannot be condoned under the pretext of human rights and a more informed view of the matter was expected of the UN body.
Anurag Srivastava spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs said, “We have seen some comments by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on an issue relating to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). India is a democratic polity based on the rule of law and has an independent judiciary.”
“The framing of laws is obviously a sovereign prerogative. Violations of law, however, cannot be condoned under the pretext of human rights. A more informed view of the matter was expected of a UN body,” He further added.
The strong remark came in response to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's concerns over the restrictions on foreign funding for the NGOs and the arrest of activists in India.
Bachelet raised concerns over the restrictions on foreign funding for the NGOs and the arrest of activists in the country. She appealed to the Indian Government to "safeguard the rights of human rights defenders and NGOs, and their ability to carry out their crucial work" on behalf of the various groups they represent.
India has recently amended the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) which prohibits the receipt of foreign funds.
As per the revised FCRA law, providing Aadhaar numbers by office-bearers of NGOs has become compulsory for registration. The Act also provides for a reduction in administrative expenses of any NGO receiving foreign funding, from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds to ensure spending on their main purposes. The act allows the central government to initiate fresh scrutiny into the applicant’s activities every five years when it applies for renewal of its FCRA licence.