Register under FCRA, centre directs Amnesty International

Register under FCRA, centre directs Amnesty International

Register under FCRA, centre directs Amnesty International

The government will ask Amnesty India to register itself under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

The sources said NGOs with expenses over Rs 10 lakh for three preceeding years have to register under FCRA. The NGO had in the past refused to register itself under FCRA by claiming that it “was and is a much-abused law”.

Sources said a preliminary inquiry has found that Amnesty was “bypassing” laws to collect foreign funds in the last 16 years.

Amnesty has registered itself as a non-profit organisation and had sought permission to open a hub to look after its South Asia activities. The NGO was planning to bring in Rs 18.61 crore under the prior permission category for its operations.

Sources said no decision has been taken on the application so far, but the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is not likely to give permission as the preliminary inquiry has found that Amnesty has been receiving foreign funds without registering under FCRA.

The inquiry has also found out that Amnesty applied eight times to receive foreign funds but permission was denied four times. Altogether, Amnesty  received £ 3.52 lakh and Rs 1.23 crore in four instances since 2000 without registering under FCRA.

In December 2000, Amnesty India was granted permission to bring in £ 1.30 lakh, and three years later in November it was given permission to receive £ 2.21 lakh. Amnesty was also permitted to receive Rs 54.40 lakh in July 2009 and Rs 1.69 crore in March 2012.

However, in March 2010, MHA denied Amnesty permission to receive Rs 32.72 lakh. In November 2012, permission for receiving Rs 1.69 lakh was also denied. Applications for receiving Rs 2.65 crore in November 2012 and Rs 80 lakh in March 2013 were also rejected.

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