Amnesty International India and its previous CEO Aakar Patel received a show cause notice from the Enforcement Directorate on Friday due to allegations of violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Amnesty International received a fine of 51.72 crore from the investigation agency, while Patel received a fine of 10 crore.
Allegations that Amnesty International UK had been sending large amounts of foreign contributions through its Indian entities through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to circumvent the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act led the central investigation agency to launch an investigation under the FEMA (FCRA).
According to the ED statement, these monies were reportedly obtained to increase NGO activities in India despite the union home ministry’s denial of the organisation, Amnesty India Foundation Trust, and other trusts’ requests for prior registrations or approval under FCRA.
In the lack of hard evidence, the ED statement stated that all assertions and submissions from AIIPL regarding the claim of the remittance toward the export of services to Amnesty International had been rejected.
The show cause notice claims that the funds received by Amnesty International India between November 2013 and June 2018 and claimed as payment for business consulting and PR services were really borrowed from a foreign source, clearly in violation of FEMA.
As a result, it is determined that the $51.72 crore in funds that have come into the hands of AIIPL through inward remittances are simply funds that Amnesty International lent to AIIPL in order to further its goals within the boundaries of India, in violation of Regulation 3 of the Foreign Exchange Management (borrowing and lending in Foreign Exchange) Regulations, 2000, the ED statement continued.