The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against Oxfam India and its office bearers for allegedly violating the provisions of India’s foreign funding rules.
This case has been registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The FIR has been registered on the orders of the Union Home Ministry.
Oxfam India is alleged to have violated FCRA in a transaction of Rs 12.71 lakh in the year 2019-20.
It is alleged that between 2013 and 2016, Oxfam India also indulged in irregularities in foreign transactions worth Rs 1.5 crore.
According to the CBI, Oxfam India received around Rs 1.5 crore between 2013 and 2016 directly into its Foreign Contribution Utilization Account instead of a designated bank account.
It has also been alleged in the FIR that Oxfam India gave Rs 12.71 lakh to the Center for Policy Research (CPR) t He transacted in the financial year 2019-20 in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) 2010 rules.
The CBI said that it has taken this action on a complaint by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In January last year, the FCRA license of Oxfam India was suspended.
The Ministry of Home Affairs accused Oxfam India of indulging in “anti-national” activities and exerting pressure through governments and institutions of other countries to pressurize the Government of India for FCRA renewal.
The CBI FIR also mentions that Oxfam India was planning to bypass the FCRA by transferring funds to other associations or for-profit consultancy firms.
The CBI said it had seized records of several emails from the office of Oxfam India during a search operation last week .
Oxfam India is a part of the Global Confederation of Oxfam, which works on issues such as poverty, inequality, gender justice and climate change.
The NGO has denied any wrongdoing and said it is cooperating with the authorities.
It has said that, “Oxfam India is cooperating with all government agencies since its FCRA registration was not renewed in December 2021. We have filed a petition in Delhi High Court against the decision of not renewing our FCRA registration. The High Court has asked the Central Government to respond to our petition”.
The CBI case against Oxfam India comes at a time when several civil society organizations have faced government scrutiny and action regarding their foreign funding and other activities.
The government has said that it is taking action against those who misuse foreign money or violate the law. While the organizations have accused the government of harassment and curbs.