The Bengaluru offices of the Amnesty International were raided by CBI for alleged violation of FCRA norms. Amnesty is among the NGOs facing probe for receiving foreign fund violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.
Karnataka: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team conducted a raid on Amnesty International Group in Bengaluru, in connection with violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The raid has now concluded. pic.twitter.com/PSMiynTqXb
— ANI (@ANI) November 15, 2019
The CBI raid on the alleged human rights organisation came just weeks after a show-cause notice was issued to the organisation by ED. The NGO is accused by ED of violations in borrowing and lending regulations of FEMA to the tune of Rs 51.72 crore for rendering civil society activities in the country by getting remittances from its parent body, Amnesty International UK, in the garb of export of services.
ED’s Bengaluru offices were searched by ED in October last year in connection with its probe in the alleged violation of FDI guidelines and remittances it had received from the parent body. Amnesty director Akar Patel’s residence was also searched by ED at that time.
It is alleged that Amnesty adopted the FDI route to evade the foreign contribution regulation act as the government had tightened laws under FCRA. Investigators suspect that Amnesty International-UK and other some other UP based entities have transferred funds to Amnesty’s India unit through commercial channels, which is a violation of FEMA rules. To receive foreign funding, NGOs are required to enlist under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). There are certain norms to register under FCRA, and only FCRA registered NGOs can receive donations from abroad.
Amnesty International – India had registered four entities as companies for this purpose. These companies under Amnesty were receiving foreign funds, which were diverted to Amnesty International -India. Thereby the NGO was receiving foreign fund bypassing the mandatory FCRA route.