ED notice to Amnesty on FEMA violations

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a show-cause notice to Amnesty International India on charges of violating foreign exchange laws while dealing with Rs 51.72 crore, officials said on Thursday.

The notice was issued last month under the relevant sections of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Officials said investigators found that there were violations in borrowing and lending regulations of FEMA to the tune of Rs 51.72 crore.

The Amnesty India reportedly received the remittances from its parent body Amnesty International UK for export of services, but this money was said to have been used for rendering civil society activities.

Last year, the ED had conducted searches in Amnesty International India's office in Bengaluru on charges of violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

In February this year, three United National Special Rapporteurs wrote to the Indian government expressing serious concerns at the "smear campaign" and actions taken against Amnesty International India and Greenpeace, saying the ability to access foreign funding is an integral part of the right to freedom of association.

On Amnesty India, they had said, "...concern is expressed at the alleged smear campaign against Amnesty International India, in what seems to be an attempt to tarnish the organization’s reputation in the absence of formal charges. The ostensible leak of a dossier on Amnesty India allegedly by the Enforcement Directorate based on its ongoing investigation indicates a potentially deliberate attempt by the government to tarnish Amnesty India’s reputation."

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