Common Grounds for Rejection of Applications
To remove certain lacunae noticed during administration of the FCRA and the Rules made thereunder, certain guidelines were laid down for considering applications for grant of prior permission/ Registration under the Act. Some of the common grounds for rejection of applications are enlisted below as illustrations to bring in transparency and benefit the applicants in taking due care and caution :
· If the association is not registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956.
· If any of the office bearers/trustees, including the chief functionary is a foreign national, other than of Indian origin.
· If the association has a single office bearer/member.
· If the association is found to have been formed for personal gain or for diversion of the funds for undesirable purposes.
· If the association is found to be fictitious or ‘benami’ in nature.
· If the credibility of any member of the governing body is in doubt.
· If the association has close links with another association which has been refused registration under FCRA or prohibited under FCRA or violated the provisions of FCRA.
· If the association has links with any banned organizations.
· If the principal office bearers of the association have been convicted by any court of law under any act or if a prosecution for any offence is pending against them.
· If the principal office bearers of the association have been found guilty of diversion or misutilisation of funds of the said association or any other association in the past.
· If the activities of the association are found to be aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another.
· If the association is found to propagate sedition or to advocate violent methods to achieve its ends.
· If the association is found to be creating communal tensions or disharmony.
· If the office bearers of the association are also office bearers of another association and one of these associations has come to adverse notice.
· If the association’s printed work is not certified by the Press registrar of India not to be a newspaper in terms of section 1(1) of the Press Registration of Books Act, 1867.
· If the source of foreign contribution is found to be adverse to the interests of the country.
· If the acceptance of foreign contribution by the association is likely to be prejudicial to (a) the sovereignty and integrity of India; (b) free and fair elections to any Legislature or House of Parliament; (c) public interest; (d) friendly relations with a foreign state; or (e) harmony between any religious, social, linguistic, regional groups, caste or community.
· If the association has not filed its annual FC-3 returns, of receipt and utilization of foreign contribution received with prior permission, within the stipulated period.
· If the association has violated any provisions of the Act or Rules in the preceding three years and the said violation has not been remedied or rectified
1. Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Registration.
· If the association is not in existence for three years at least.
If the association has not carried on any activity in its chosen field during the last three years.
· If the association has not received foreign contribution, with prior permission, during the preceding three years.
If the association has not made any substantial contribution, excluding expenditure on administration, (Rs.6,00,000 over a period of three years or Rs.2,00,000 per year) in its field of interest.
2. Additional grounds for rejection of applications for Prior Permission
* If the application is not accompanied by the ‘commitment letter’ of the donor.
* If the application is not accompanied by the copy of project for which foreign contribution is solicited/is being offered.
Illustrative activities permitted to be carried out by associations having different nature
Associations having definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme can accept foreign contribution only after obtaining either prior permission or registration from the Central Government. Following are illustrative but not exhaustive list of activities which are permissible and can be carried out by associations of different nature :
· Celebrations of religious functions/festivals etc.
· Construction/repair/maintenance of places of worship, religious schools.
· Education of priests and preachers; (dissemination of the message of good will etc. from the holy books).
· Publication and distribution of religious books/ literature.
· Maintenance of priests / preachers / other religious functionaries.
· Any other activities related to the above.
· Construction and maintenance of schools/colleges.
· Construction and running of hostels for poor students.
· Grant of stipends/Scholarships/assistances in cash or kind to poor/deserving children.
· Purchase and supply of educational material-books, notebooks etc.
· Conducting adult literacy programs.
· Conducting Research.
· Nor-formal education/Schools for the mentally challenged.
· Non-formal education projects/coaching classes.
· Any other activities related to the above.
Following but not being commercial or profit making activities
· Micro-finance projects, including setting up banking co-operatives and self-help groups.
· Self-sustaining income generation projects/Schemes.
· Agricultural activities.
· Rural development programmes/schemes.
· Animal husbandry projects.