Laws concerning NGOs hazy, says Supreme Court

New Delhi, Sept 14: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that it is alarming and mind boggling that out of the 29.9 lakh NGOs only 2.9 lakh file IT returns. While appointing an amicus curae to suggest guidelines on how to regulate the NGOs ,  court adjourned hearing on the matter to Sept 23. A petition was filed seeking a directive to regulate NGOs in the country. It was pointed that there was no regulation and hence directions to this effect be issued.

image source: oneinda news

image source: oneinda news

“The Supreme Court said that the laws relating to the regulation of NGOs is hazy. It is mind boggling that 29.9 lakh NGOs function in India and very few file the details of how they used the funds. There is a need for a legal framework to monitor NGOs,” the Supreme Court said. The Supreme Court was told by the petitioner that only 2.9 lakh out of the 29.9 lakh NGOs file IT returns. SC said that it finds the need to refer this issue to the law commission. The Law Commission may consider regulating NGOs across the country, the Supreme Court observed. There is no legislation to ensure accountability and timely audit of NGOs, the court also stated. While adjourning the matter to Sept 23, the court appointed Senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi as amicus curae to suggest what measures can be taken to regulate NGOs.


Government bars Zakir Naik’s NGO from receiving foreign funds

NEW DELHI: Invoking a rare provision of law, the government today issued a gazette notification to ban an NGO, run by controversial preacher Zakir Naik, from receiving foreign funds directly and asked RBI to seek prior permission from it before releasing any money to it.

Issuance of a gazette notification under Section 11(3) of the FCRA 2010 is a rare instance and such an act could also be done through an official order, sources said. Image

Issuance of a gazette notification under Section 11(3) of the FCRA 2010 is a rare instance and such an act could also be done through an official order, sources said.

The gazette notification, issued by the Home Ministry, said that Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) has violated certain provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulations Act and therefore “would obtain prior permission from central government before accepting any foreign contribution”.

Issuance of a gazette notification under Section 11(3) of the FCRA 2010 is a rare instance and such an act could also be done through an official order, sources said.

The Home Ministry said the decision has been taken after a preliminary inquiry conducted by it found that the NGO was carrying out activities contrary to the provisions of the FCRA under which it has to function.

The Reserve Bank of India, henceforth, has to inform the Home Ministry about all funds coming to the NGO and permission has to be taken from the ministry before releasing them to IRF.
Sources said last month the Home Ministry had renewed the FCRA licence of IRF despite several ongoing probes against the NGO and its founder Naik including one by the Home Ministry itself.
Taking strong exception to the goof-up, the Home Ministry suspended Joint Secretary G K Dwivedi, who was heading the foreigners division of the ministry looking after the FCRA-related issues, and three other officials.
Naik was accused of radicalising and attracting youths for terror acts.
Naik has come under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ had reported that one of the attackers of the July 1 terror strike in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
He, in a lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based IRF, is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
He is popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects.

Source- Economics Times

Beach camps operational in Ganga, Uttarakhand misleading NGT: NGO

NEW DELHI: Uttarakhand government is trying to mislead the National Green Tribunal by denying the existence of several beach camps operating on the banks of river Ganga despite a ban, an NGO claimed today.

The NGO, which has moved the green panel against “unregulated operation” of beach camps in Rishikesh, informed a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that some camps were even involved in constructing semi-permanent structures on the tributary of the Ganga.

“The applicant has visited the area on January 19 for verifying contents of affidavit of state government and found that several camps are set up on the beach of river Hamel and also found two camps on river Ganga.

“The applicant also found that some of the camps are involved in construction of semi-permanent structure on the river bank in the form of tents and in some areas platform for setting up of semi-permanent structure was in progress,” the NGO Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) said in an affidavit filed before the bench.

On January 18, the Uttarakhand government had refuted allegations that beach camps are operational on the stretch from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh on river Ganga.

The NGO said it had inspected various sites to verify the statements made by the state government and found that large numbers of beach camps have “mushroomed” on the river bank.

“The findings of the applicant by site visit clearly establish the fact that the state government is trying to mislead the Tribunal by filing incorrect affidavit. The NGO has not only found large number of beach camps in existence but has also found that some of them are converting it into semi-permanent kind of structure.

“Some of the photographs already filed clearly show that semi-permanent structure are constructed in the form of beach camp on the bank of river Ganga and its tributary river Hemal,” the affidavit, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, said while detailing the locations of some such camps.

NGT had banned camping activities in the entire belt of Kaudiyala to Rishikesh till a regulatory regime came into force but had permitted the adventure sport rafting.

The panel had constituted a committee of officials from various departments of central and Uttarakhand government to prepare a regulatory regime.


Juvenile In Delhi Gang-Rape Case To Be ‘In Custody’ Of NGO: Sources

NEW DELHI:  The youngest of the six men who gang-raped and tortured a student on a moving bus in Delhi in 2012, will walk out of a special home on December 22 but won’t be “freed”, say sources.


Delhi was the center of a nationwide protest following the rape and torture of a 23-year-old medical student in December 2012.

The convict, now 21, will be in the custody of an NGO for a year and take vocational training. Sources have told NDTV that he will be “mostly kept indoors” and might be allowed supervised visits home. “He has been advised to cooperate, for the sake of his own security,” they say.

The parents of the 23-year-old woman, who came to be known as “Nirbhaya” or fearless, say this is far from justice. They have demanded that the “juvenile’s” face be shown as he is a threat to the society; he was the “most brutal” of all the rapists, they say.

“As far as we are considered, he is not in jail. Our daughter’s killer will not be in jail,” her mother told NDTV.

“The government has to think about our security and the security of the public,” she said.

Amid public outrage over the convict’s expected release after three-year detention, the Delhi Police had considered charges under the National Security Act to keep him in jail.

Union Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said earlier this week that she had written to the home ministry demanding that sex offenders be tracked after release.

“You know the issue is not of that particular individual, the point is that I have written to the home ministry saying that there should a tweaking of the law in which every person accused of sexual abuse, who has served a time and has come out should have to report to the police station and he should be monitored,” said the minister.

To stop the convict’s release, Nirbhaya’s parents had petitioned the home ministry, courts and the National Human Rights Commission.

The convict, who was below 18 at the time of the horrific crime, was sentenced to three years in a reform home. The punishment was seen by many as disproportionate to the enormity of the crime and spurred demands for changes in the law so teenagers involved in serious crimes can be tried as adults. Four other convicts have been sentenced to death and a fifth was found dead in prison.


Karachi NGO

Karachi-based NGO heavily funded by India

KARACHI: An NGO was being funded by India on a large scale, it has been discovered. Following the revelation, an investigation into the matter has been started.

The Director Intelligence of FBR has started a probe into the matter. In 2014, the Indian High Commissioner had visited this very NGO’s office. Even Narendra Modi, from his official Twitter account, had posted a message appreciating the services of this NGO.

The investigation discovered that funding had reached the NGO after it had circulated among four countries. The report also revealed that the money which was received by the NGO could be traced back to India. This money was converted into Euros or Dollars and then sent to Pakistan.

A lady doctor from the NGO was receiving salary from an Indian bank account, it has also been discovered. The FBR intelligence has also extracted evidence related to the account, in this matter.


Relief india Trust Diwali celebration

Relief India Trust to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali

The festival of Diwali can be considered the most auspicious among the festivals which find their roots in Indian mythology. The day marks a grand celebration as we light diyas to enlighten the path of Lord Rama’s return and invite him to our abodes. But Relief India Trust believes that the essence of the festival seems to getting astray as the holy festival has translated into a mere day when we fire crackers. We believe that Diwali is propitious and the day ought not to be marred by environmental degradation.

We, at Relief india Trust, celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly manner. With sweets and gifts, holy ceremonies and lighting diyas, we maintain the essence of the festival for our children and teach them to cherish the festival likewise.

Diwali at Relief India Trust is always celebrated with great enthusiasm. Children are already excited for the festival. Even though a few wanted to burst a few crackers this year, they no more want to do that in the wake of rampant air pollution in Delhi. Instead, the children want to plant saplings.

Diwali with Relief India Trust

Relief India Trust to run campaign for an Eco-friendly Diwali

The kids would of course light up ‘diyas’ and would be treated to sweets and other food delicacies, yet the primary concern would be to organize an eco-friendly Diwali.

We want to urge people to burst less of crackers. There are so many ways people can help the poor and needy by saving money spent on crackers. People can donate food and clothes to the under privileged. Best would be if they offer gifts to the street kids. We urge people to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. We would also be running a few campaigns to promote and inspire the same among people.

Greenpeace India’s Registration Gets Cancelled, NGO Calls It ‘Assault On Free Speech’

NEW DELHI–The Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies has reportedly cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India, the environmental NGO.

The NGO that has been campaigning against air pollution and the unsustainable use of natural resources in India claimed the Ministry of Home Affairs was behind the move and called it “the latest assault on free speech in India” and a demonstration of the government’s “intolerance for dissent”.

It further stated that the cancellation of registration has come at a time when several international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General, have upheld the importance of civil society in healthy democracies.

Greenpeace India’s interim executive director Vinuta Gopal said in a press release, “The MHA’s clumsy tactics to suppress free speech and dissenting voices are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government. This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbor.”

“The RoS is clearly acting under directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi, which has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now,” Gopal said.

The development comes two months after the central government had cancelled the registration of environmental organisation under the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act, thereby barring it from receiving funds from abroad. The government had said that the registration was cancelled as the NGO allegedly worked against the country’s economic progress.

On 1 October, The Madras High Court has asked the NGO to keep the government informed on its day-to-day expenses. “…It is also made clear that the petitioner shall not receive any foreign remittance until further orders. If any expenditure has to be made, that has to be accounted for by giving appropriate particulars to the respondent,” read the judgment by justice MM Sundresh.

The NGO will now challenge the order in the Madras High Court.

The NGO has said that they are confident that they are on “strong legal ground.” “We have faith in the legal process and are confident of overcoming this order,” Gopal said.

Kids at risk, ban toxic crackers: NGO to government

NGO Awaaz Foundation has written to the chief minister and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to withdraw these crackers from the market.
Keep asthma at bay this Deepavali, Image Source:deccanchronicle

Keep asthma at bay this Deepavali, Image Source:deccanchronicle

After sending fire crackers commonly used in Diwali and often handled by children to a private laboratory, NGOAwaaz Foundation has written to the chief minister and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to withdraw these crackers from the market. Reason: The test results indicated the presence of high levels of dangerous chemicals, including mercury, lead and sulphur.

Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation, the crackers were sent to the lab last week, specifically to check the amount of carbon, sulphur, cadmium, lead and mercury contained. She informed that while there was no cadmium in any of the crackers tested, the presence of mercury was a major scare, specially with children handling them.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed mercury and lead among the top 10 most dangerous and toxic chemicals. All four chemicals found are completely unsuitable for use within a crowded urban area, particularly in close proximity to a water body such as the sea, as sulphur reacts with water to produce sulphuric acid, while mercury bio-accumulates in fish,” said Sumaira, adding that exposure to mercury can even result in death.

“In the interest of health of all citizens, we have requested environment minister Prakash Javadekar and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to ask for urgent withdrawal of firecrackers that contain mercury, cadmium or sulphur,” she said, adding that the government authorities must ensure the firecrackers are banned.

Source: dnaIndia

VHP, NGO asks police to allow migrant Pakistani Hindus to stay in Jaisalmer

As many as 88 members of six Hindu families from Pakistan had come to India on pilgrim visa around two months ago and have refused to return from Jaisalmer. Source:ET

As many as 88 members of six Hindu families from Pakistan had come to India on pilgrim visa around two months ago and have refused to return from Jaisalmer.

JAISALMER: Right wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and an NGO today asked the district police to allow the 88 members of migrant Hindu families from Pakistan to stay here for a fortnight.

A delegation of Seemajan Kalayan Samiti and district VHP leaders, led by Nimb Singh, met District Superintendent of Police (SP) Rajiv Pachar and urged him to allow them to stay for next 15 days in Jaisalmer and not to sent them to Jodhpur for their onward journey to Pakistan, an SKS spokesman said here.

SKS and VHP have urged the central government to extend the visa of these Pak migrants, Singh told the SP.

As many as 88 members of six Hindu families from Pakistan had come to India on pilgrim visa around two months ago and have refused to return from Jaisalmer.


Femina Miss India Supranational to kickstart her NGO EDBFs activity with health run

The soon to be doctor Aafreen Rachel Vas, Femina Miss India Supranational 2015 is all set to launch her Maharashtra registered NGO – Early Detection for Better Future (EDBF) in namma Kudla on Gandhi Jayanti day. A 5-km ‘Run 4 Health’ that will focus on perils of breast cancer will be focus of the run that will also serve as a fund raiser for the NGO. Plans are afoot to broaden the focus areas of diseases as the NGO grows in stature, Aafreen says.

Interacting with mediapersons here, Aafreen, who is in the midst of preparations to participate in Miss Supranational 2015 at Warsaw in Poland said EDBF is aiming to build a strong family of volunteers who will be trained on the importance of early detection of common diseases specific to rural areas. “These volunteers in turn will go and spread the message on the diseases among the rural masses and the NGO has taken breast cancer to start its activities with,” she adds.

The aim of EDBF is also to create an urban for rural health movement that is friendly, fresh and energetic. While those in urban areas are spoilt for choices when it comes to health treatment, this is not the case in rural areas, where people tend to seek medical help only when it is often too late to do anything. “EDBF will hold the first of its check up camp for breast cancer in Dakshina Kannada in January 2016 once Iam back from the Warsaw beauty pageant,” she says.

Armed with a certified first aid provider tag awarded by St John New Zealand, Aafreen said the NGO will also strive to train volunteers – boys and girls in first aid. The breast cancer initiative will involve women volunteers and the third initiative mooted – that is to spread the message of basic hygiene practices too will involve both boys and girl volunteers, she said. NGO will initially limit its activities to rural Dakshina Kannada and parts of Maharashtra, she noted.