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India counters UN Rights Chief criticism on ‘Misuse’ of FCRA

23 Oct 2020 12:00 AM

On Tuesday, the Govt brushed aside remarks by United Nations high commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet on alleged misuse of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), saying that India was a democratic polity based on the rule of law & an independent judiciary.

The Govt also reminded the UN human rights chief that framing of laws was a sovereign prerogative.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that “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".

Alleging that FCRA was being used to “deter or punish NGOs” for human rights reporting, Bachelet had called for India to review the Act. “Constructive criticism is the lifeblood of democracy. Even if the authorities find it uncomfortable, it should never be criminalised or outlawed,” Bachelet had said in her remarks.

Countering Bachelet, sources here said India was a vibrant & pluralistic democracy with a robust domestic grievance redressal mechanism, overseen by an independent judiciary & a Category ‘A’ National Human Rights Commission compliant with the Paris Principles. 

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