There is more trouble for Amnesty India with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filing a fresh FIR against the Bengaluru based organization. Republic TV has learnt from a top source in the agency that Amnesty’s book of accounts reflects that there has been a deliberate attempt by Amnesty to mislead authorities. Amnesty has been asked to explain the nature of the transaction which they haven’t been able to explain so far. Remittances were received by 4 entities in the garb of providing “goods and services”. According to agency sources, Amnesty hasn’t been able to provide any documentary evidence. Prima facie, it appears that they haven’t stuck to their charter of charitable activities. Investigation so far reveals that they have engaged in commercial activities.
The investigation findings of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) are part of CBI's 80 page FIR which has been accessed by Republic TV. The FIR was registered on November 5. CBI so far has carried out raids and searches in Bengaluru and Delhi on November 15. CBI has alleged that Amnesty India and its related entities had violated the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Act). After a reference from the Department of Revenue, the ED initiated its probe in August 2018 under Foreign Exchange Management Act. As per the FIR, the ED had sent a secret note to the MHA on December 20, 2018, detailing the findings of its investigation. It found that the company had received over Rs.51 crore till last year from Amnesty International-United Kingdom as export proceeds/advances for the services, whose documentary proof it did not submit with the authorized dealer bank.
Amnesty entered into 45 contracts with Amnesty International-United Kingdom, involving GBP 68,35,592 and Rs.20,59,998. Six of the agreements pertained to Kashmir-related activities/access to justice, and two were linked to the 1984 Sikh massacre related activities. According to the FIR, more than Rs.3 crore was allocated on Kashmir/Access to Peace-related activities. Contracts covered under the Kashmir related activities included campaign support on Amnesty International's July 2015 report, digital platform to raise awareness, public campaign and advocacy to end cases of arrest of minors, organising events, letters from 50,000 people, dissemination of information, public awareness programme, media engagement and advocacy at state and central level, etc, which “fall under campaign and advocacy” category. The MHA had taken up the issue of foreign funds with the RBI on May 23, 2018. Based on its inspection of the company's financial records, it lodged a complaint with the CBI. In the FIR, the CBI has named the company, Indians for Amnesty International Trust Amnesty International India Foundation Trust and Amnesty International South Asia Foundation as an accused.