After Amnesty International India was served a show-cause notice by the Enforcement Directorate for receiving foreign funds violating FEMA norms, now it has come to light that the organisation is using that fund to prepare reports on Kashmir with pre-decided conclusion to spread propaganda globally. This has been revealed by documents accessed by Republic TV.
According to the report, Amnesty India is using funds received from foreign countries to prepare reports on Kashmir. They are doing this through a commercial entity, Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd. This company had started as a trust in 2010 with the name Amnesty International India Foundation Trust. But as they were denied approval under FCRA by the government in the same year, they had floated a company in the name of Amnesty International India Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) to receive foreign funds bypassing FCRA rules.
AIIPL is receiving funds from its parent organisation Amnesty International UK in the grab of exporting consultancy services. According to the ED, ₹51.72 crore has been received by Amnesty in India violating the FCRA rules, out of which ₹26 crore was paid to AIIPL towards consultancy services.
Now the documents accessed by Republic show that the services offered by AIIPL was to prepare reports on Kashmir, against which it received payments. But the most striking point is, in the agreements signed by Amnesty International with the Indian company for studies on Kashmir, the desired outcomes were pre-decided and mentioned.
The agreements have a deliverable section, which apart from mentioning what to deliver, also specifies what is to be mentioned in those reports. For example, for a report on ‘Kashmir access to justice’, costing 46,867 GBP, the deliverable section says that it has to research 10 individual cases of barriers to justice. Republic has accessed more than 50 pages of such documents containing multiple agreements to work on Kashmir.
The reports were supposed to be prepared after doing research and field work, but the conclusion of the reports, even their titles, were predetermined and mentioned in the agreements.
These documents show that Amnesty India has received around Rs 5,29,87,663 from Amnesty International (UK) over the last few years to only prepare reports on Kashmir. AIIPL has received the money in the name of “export of goods and services”, and has produced the Kashmir reports. The agreements show that almost 50% of the totally value of the works were paid in advance.
The ED has questioned these so-called exports of goods and services by AIIPL. The report quotes a top investigating officer saying “Amnesty India has so far not been able to furnish any documentary evidence of price negotiations with their only client Amensty International, UK. Also, no details in respect of breakup of costing whatsoever have been furnished by the company. In this case substantial export advance or exorbitantly high rates is questionable”. According to sources, although ₹51 crore was received towards export of services, no documentary proof of such export like invoices were furnished by the company.
ED had sent the show cause notice to Amnesty on 25 July, and today the company denied the charges. They acknowledged that they have received a notice from ED, but denied any wrongdoing. The organisation declined to reveal anything more before replying to the notice.
In October last year, the ED had conducted searches at its Bengaluru office in connection with its probe in the alleged violation of FDI guidelines and remittances it had received from the parent body. Its director Akar Patel’s residences were among premises searched by the agency then.
The agency was probing if the Amnesty adopted the FDI route to evade the foreign contribution regulation act as the government had tightened laws under FCRA and had cancelled registrations of hundreds of NGOs for their “anti-India” activities.