Serious allegations were levelled against the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after reports of Missionaries of Charity's bank accounts being frozen emerged. The Centre was at the receiving end of severe backlash for freezing the bank accounts of Mother Teresa's charity organisation in India, as opposition leaders slammed the government. As these allegations gained ground, not only the MHA but the Missionaries of Charity (MoC) in India issued clarifications.
While the claim that the bank accounts of MoC have been frozen are true, the Centre's role in it is unfounded. Read the whole story here.
When it was first reported earlier in the day that the bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity have been frozen by the government, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre on Twitter.
She wrote: "Shocked to hear that on Christmas, Union Ministry FROZE ALL BANK ACCOUNTS of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in India! Their 22,000 patients & employees have been left without food & medicines. While the law is paramount, humanitarian efforts must not be compromised."
Banerjee, with her 6.4 million followers on Twitter, triggered a strong reaction. The tweet was re-shared and liked thousands of times as of this writing. While other leaders of opposition chimed in, a lot of users criticised the move by the government.
International Business Times reviewed the claims made by West Bengal CM and other users regarding the frozen bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity in India. Within hours of CM Mamata Banerjee's tweet, the MHA issued a statement clarifying the matter. Shortly after, Missionaries of Charity even released a statement.
MHA official statement:
The renewal application under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for the renewal of FCRA registration of Missionaries of Charity (MoC) was refused on 25 Dec 2021 for not meeting the eligibility conditions under FCRA 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR) 2011. No request / revision application has been received from Missionaries of Charity (MoC) for review of this refusal of renewal.
Missionaries of Charity (MoC) was registered under FCRA vide Registration No 147120001 and its registration was valid up-to 31 Oct 2021. The validity was subsequently extended up-to 31 Dec 2021 along with other FCRA Associations whose renewal application were pending renewal.
However, while considering the MoC's renewal application, some adverse inputs were noticed. In consideration of these inputs on record, the renewal application of MoC was not approved. The FCRA registration of MoC was valid up-to 31st December 2021. MHA did not freeze any accounts of MoC. State Bank of India has informed that MoC itself sent a request to SBI to freeze its accounts.
MoC official statement:
We appreciate the concern of our well-wishers and extend our heartiest greetings for Christmas and the New Year.
We would like to clarify that the FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity has been neither suspended or canceled. Further, there is no freeze ordered by the Ministry of Home Affairs on any of our bank accounts. We have been informed that our FCRA renewal application has not been approved. Therefore as a measure to ensure there is no lapse, we have asked our centres not to operate any of the FC accounts until the matter is resolved," the statement read.
Based on these official statements, it is clear that the MHA did not freeze the accounts of Missionaries of Charity in India. Going by MHA's official statement, as per SBI, MoC sent a request to SBI to freeze its accounts, which is can be corroborated by MoC's statement, where it said that it has asked its centres not to operate any of the FC accounts until the matter is resolved.
Due to some adverse inputs in the MoC's renewal application, it was not approved by the Centre.
Hence, IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion based on the official statements by MHA and MoC that the Centre did not freeze any bank accounts of Missionaries of Charity in India.