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Govt document says Amnesty was only allowed to receive Rs 1.69 crore

The document claims that Amnesty was given permission in 2011-12 under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, to receive Rs 1.69 crore from Amnesty International, UK.

india Updated: Oct 26, 2018 23:56 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times
Amnesty,amnesty international,Teesta Setalvad.
A day after searches were held at the office of Amnesty International India, confidential government documents reviewed by HT claimed that the non-governmental organisation received Rs 36 crore while it had permission to receive Rs 1.69 crore from abroad.(AP)

A day after searches were held at the office of Amnesty International India, confidential government documents reviewed by HT claimed that the non-governmental organisation received Rs 36 crore while it had permission to receive Rs 1.69 crore from abroad.

The document claims that Amnesty was given permission in 2011-12 under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, to receive Rs 1.69 crore from Amnesty International, UK. “Since then, prior permission/registration under FCRA, 2010 has been denied to the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust on the basis of adverse inputs received from security agencies”, the document read.

Subsequently, the document says, inputs were received by security agencies that Amnesty International (UK) had been remitting funds through the foreign direct investment to “evade FCRA, to expand its NGO activities in India in violation of the provisions of FCRA, 2010”.

Of the Rs 36 crore that is under question, the document says, Rs 10 crore was received as FDI and the rest as payment for consultation services. The first tranche of Rs 10 crore was invested in Amnesty India International Pvt Ltd (AIIPL) on September 24, 2015 and was shown in the tax returns of the organisation as “long term borrowings”.

The other amount of Rs 26 crore was received by two bank accounts of AIIPL as consultancy services. “This is similar to the manner in which Sabrang Trust evaded FCRA and received foreign funds from Ford Foundation (US) in the name of ‘consultancy services’,” the document says. This refers to the ongoing case against Sabrang Trust, which is headed by activist Teesta Setalvad.

Responding to these charges, Amnesty India said the Foundation the document refers to, which was allowed to receive Rs 1.69 crore, is defunct to the best of its knowledge. “We have no information on it. The current entities came into existence much later with a new set of people who have no link with the Foundation,” the organisation said in its response.

First Published: Oct 26, 2018 23:56 IST