Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Freedom Rule of Law

Server and mobile phones of top leadership cloned, data taken: Oxfam India on IT raids

Offices of Oxfam India, CPR and IPSMF had been raided on September 7 in connection with alleged illegal funding of political parties

Sabrangindia 10 Sep 2022

Oxfam India

In wake of the Income Tax raids that took place on September 7, Oxfam India, Center for Policy Research (CPR) and Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF) have now issued statements describing what transpired during those raids.

Readers would recall that the IT department conducted simultaneously in five states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The raids come in wake of a recommendation from the Election Commission to probe allegations of tax evasion against Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP) and their allegedly dubious financial transactions. The EC had recently struck down names of 198 RUPPs when they were found to be non-existent during physical verification. The entities raided i.e Oxfam, CPR and IPSMF, were accused of being associated with such RUPPs.

“During these 35 plus hours of non-stop survey, the Oxfam India team members were not allowed to leave the premises; the internet was shut down and all the mobile phones were confiscated,” said Oxfam about the raid that began at noon on September 7 and ended on September 9. “The Income Tax survey team took away hundreds of pages of data pertaining to finances and programs of Oxfam India. They also took all the data by cloning the Oxfam India server and the private mobile phones of the Senior leadership team and the Finance lead,” it said. The organization insisted that it was “law-abiding and community centric” and was “compliant with Indian laws and has filed all its statutory compliances, including Income tax and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) returns, in a timely manner since its inception.” Oxfam also shed further light on its struggle with renewing its FCRA license. “In December 2021, the renewal of FCRA licence was denied by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” it said, adding, “In January 2022 we also had a detailed week-long audit of the FCRA accounts by the auditors appointed by the FCRA division.”

 

 

CPR too issued a statement where President Yamini Aiyar said, “We have extended full cooperation to the department during the survey, and will continue to do so in the future.” She added, “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and are confident that we have done nothing wrong. We are committed to working with the authorities to address any questions they might have.”

 

 

Meanwhile, T N Ninan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IPSMF, also issued a statement saying, “The foundation believes that its affairs are entirely in order. Some media reporting on the IT (income tax) survey has linked it to foreign funding and the funding of political parties. We wish to make it clear that the foundation has received no foreign funds at any stage, and has funded only media entities.” About what transpired during the raid/survey, IPSMF said, “The Foundation’s staff were cooperative and answered all questions put to them on a wide range of matters. The officials took statements from three senior staff members,” adding that all laptops and mobile phones that were taken for cloning data in them had been returned.

The entire statement may be read here: 

IPSMF

Readers would recall that previously, similar raids had been conducted at the offices of Amnesty India to probe allegations of illegal foreign funding. In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted searches in connection with alleged violation of foreign direct investment norms linked to a previous case of revocation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the NGO by the Union Home Ministry in 2010.

The ED had also frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at premises of Amnesty International in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it.

Then in November 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at the Bengaluru head office of Amnesty International India in connection with accusations that the non-profit had received foreign funds. The government had earlier declined permission to the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust that had been critical of security agencies in several cases including the arrest of activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao, who was accused of being a Maoist ideologue, for receiving foreign funds.  

Related:

IT raids on at offices of Oxfam, CPR, IPSMF?

Amnesty International targeted once again, this time by CBI

Amnesty, Greenpeace accuse Indian government of impeding work

"Rights Groups Being Treated Like Criminal Enterprises": Amnesty On Raids

Server and mobile phones of top leadership cloned, data taken: Oxfam India on IT raids

Offices of Oxfam India, CPR and IPSMF had been raided on September 7 in connection with alleged illegal funding of political parties

Oxfam India

In wake of the Income Tax raids that took place on September 7, Oxfam India, Center for Policy Research (CPR) and Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF) have now issued statements describing what transpired during those raids.

Readers would recall that the IT department conducted simultaneously in five states – Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The raids come in wake of a recommendation from the Election Commission to probe allegations of tax evasion against Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPP) and their allegedly dubious financial transactions. The EC had recently struck down names of 198 RUPPs when they were found to be non-existent during physical verification. The entities raided i.e Oxfam, CPR and IPSMF, were accused of being associated with such RUPPs.

“During these 35 plus hours of non-stop survey, the Oxfam India team members were not allowed to leave the premises; the internet was shut down and all the mobile phones were confiscated,” said Oxfam about the raid that began at noon on September 7 and ended on September 9. “The Income Tax survey team took away hundreds of pages of data pertaining to finances and programs of Oxfam India. They also took all the data by cloning the Oxfam India server and the private mobile phones of the Senior leadership team and the Finance lead,” it said. The organization insisted that it was “law-abiding and community centric” and was “compliant with Indian laws and has filed all its statutory compliances, including Income tax and Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) returns, in a timely manner since its inception.” Oxfam also shed further light on its struggle with renewing its FCRA license. “In December 2021, the renewal of FCRA licence was denied by the Ministry of Home Affairs,” it said, adding, “In January 2022 we also had a detailed week-long audit of the FCRA accounts by the auditors appointed by the FCRA division.”

 

 

CPR too issued a statement where President Yamini Aiyar said, “We have extended full cooperation to the department during the survey, and will continue to do so in the future.” She added, “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and are confident that we have done nothing wrong. We are committed to working with the authorities to address any questions they might have.”

 

 

Meanwhile, T N Ninan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the IPSMF, also issued a statement saying, “The foundation believes that its affairs are entirely in order. Some media reporting on the IT (income tax) survey has linked it to foreign funding and the funding of political parties. We wish to make it clear that the foundation has received no foreign funds at any stage, and has funded only media entities.” About what transpired during the raid/survey, IPSMF said, “The Foundation’s staff were cooperative and answered all questions put to them on a wide range of matters. The officials took statements from three senior staff members,” adding that all laptops and mobile phones that were taken for cloning data in them had been returned.

The entire statement may be read here: 

IPSMF

Readers would recall that previously, similar raids had been conducted at the offices of Amnesty India to probe allegations of illegal foreign funding. In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had conducted searches in connection with alleged violation of foreign direct investment norms linked to a previous case of revocation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the NGO by the Union Home Ministry in 2010.

The ED had also frozen over a dozen bank accounts of environmental NGO Greenpeace and its linked entity after it conducted searches at premises of Amnesty International in Bengaluru on charges of alleged forex violations after taking cognisance of the FCRA action against it.

Then in November 2019, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at the Bengaluru head office of Amnesty International India in connection with accusations that the non-profit had received foreign funds. The government had earlier declined permission to the Amnesty International India Foundation Trust that had been critical of security agencies in several cases including the arrest of activists such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao, who was accused of being a Maoist ideologue, for receiving foreign funds.  

Related:

IT raids on at offices of Oxfam, CPR, IPSMF?

Amnesty International targeted once again, this time by CBI

Amnesty, Greenpeace accuse Indian government of impeding work

"Rights Groups Being Treated Like Criminal Enterprises": Amnesty On Raids

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

Communalism

Hate Speech is rampant while Free speech is criminalised | Teesta Setalvad

Eminent speakers like Justice Anjana Prakash, Saba Naqvi expressed grave concerns over the draconian laws, used to put down the struggles of the labouring masses and the manner in which the law enforcement have been taking down students, academicians, political and human rights activists, artists, Dalits, Muslims and tribal people.

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives