the Central Bureau of Investigation has received government permission to prosecute former Amnesty International India chief Aakar Patel for alleged violations of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act, the agency’s lawyer said in a Delhi court on Tuesday. . Bar and Bench reported.
The law regulates foreign donations to non-governmental organizations. Patel was charged with violating the terms of the law by claiming allowing Rs 36 crore to be handed over to Amnesty India without government approval. The organization denied any wrongdoing.
During Tuesday’s hearing, CBI Special Judge Santosh Snehi Mann extended the stay of a magistrate’s order asking the central agency to withdraw a lookout issued against Patel. The circular prevented him from flying abroad.
Lawyer Nikhil Goel, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation, told the court that the trial against Amnesty International India and Patel could begin now with the Centre’s green light, ANI reported. “The trial could not start because no sanction was given by the government,” he added.
Under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act, the international human rights organization cannot be sued without permission from the Home Office.
On Tuesday, the judge reserved his plea orders from the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking review of the magistrate’s order.
“I am convinced of the submission [made by CBI counsel]“, he added, according to Live Act. “The execution of the contested order is suspended until the final decision of the request for review.”
Last week, the judge asked Patel not to leave the country without court permission. He also suspended an order from Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Kumar asking the director of the Central Bureau of Investigation to issue a written apology to Patel acknowledging fault on the part of his subordinate for ceasing to travel to the United States. April 6.
This happened even though he got his passport back through a court order specifically for travel to the United States between March 1 and May 30.
Once moved to the trial court, Kumar asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to withdraw the watch notice.
However, Patel was again prevented from traveling abroad on April 7 because the Central Bureau of Investigation had not withdrawn the surveillance circular. A day later, he filed a separate plea in a Delhi court, seeking action against the CBI investigator for breaching Thursday’s order.
But, the investigative agency obtained an interim measure after filing a petition for review against the order on Friday.
Case against Amnesty
The Central Bureau of Investigation said that Amnesty International India Foundation Trust was authorized in 2011-2012 to receive foreign contributions from Amnesty International-UK. However, the clearance was rescinded following unfavorable entries from security agencies.
The agency alleged that Indians from Amnesty International Trust and Amnesty International India Private Limited were then trained in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 to “evade the FCRA”. [Foreign Contribution Regulation Act] itinerary”.
In September 2020, the human rights organization said it was forced to shut down its operations because the Indian government froze its bank accounts. The group had said its ‘legal fundraising model’ was presented as money laundering because Amnesty India had challenged the government’s ‘serious inaction and excess’.
The Center had called the allegations unfortunate, exaggerated and “far from the truth”. Amnesty’s ‘brilliant statements’ about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power were nothing but a ‘ploy to distract’ from their activities, which were ‘in flagrant violation’ Indian laws, the government said.