NEW DELHI – Two years after rejecting Oxfam India’s application for renewing its Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday recommended a CBI inquiry into alleged FCRA violations by the global non-profit organisation.
According to an MHA official, Oxfam India was registered under the FCRA, 2010 for undertaking social activities and their registration was valid up to December 31, 2021. During this time, the MHA allegedly found several major violations following which they referred it to the CBI for legal action, Indian Express reported.
“The MHA found that Oxfam India continued to transfer foreign contributions to various entities even after coming into force of the FCRA, 2020 which prohibits such transfers. The amendment came into force on September 29, 2020 and Oxfam India transferred funds to other NGOs, violating provisions of the FCRA, 2010,” a source said.
Last year, the Income Tax Department conducted a “survey” on the premises of Oxfam India.
On February 13, the Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s stand in Oxfam India’s plea for renewal of its registration under the FCRA, 2010. The Centre through the MHA rejected Oxfam India’s application for renewing FCRA registration on December 22, 2021. Oxfam India moved the High Court against the decision and the court directed the Centre to pass a reasoned speaking order on its revision petition. After this, the Centre passed an order on December 1, 2022, rejecting Oxfam’s revision application, and denying the renewal of its FCRA registration. The plea states that Oxfam India works on human development and poverty alleviation in India.
Oxfam India, according to its website, is a member of the global confederation of 21 Oxfams across the world. In 2008, Oxfam India became an independent affiliate and an Indian NGO. Oxfam took stock of the states it was needed the most in and started working on the ground in the six poorest states of India—Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Assam, and Odisha. The Government registered Oxfam India as a “non-profit organization under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, 2013.” In the last ten years, Oxfam India has responded to disasters in Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Kashmir, Manipur, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Odisha. They have also provided aid to Internally Displaced Persons during Kargil War, Muzaffarnagar violence, Kokrajhar violence, and others.
In the last month, this is the second time when the MHA has recommended a CBI probe. In March, the MHA also recommended a CBI inquiry against Aman Biradari, an NGO established by writer and human rights activist Harsh Mander, for alleged violation of the FCRA. “During 2018 to 2022, the FCRA registration certificates of 1,827 associations have been cancelled due to violation of the provisions of the Act and rules,” Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told Rajya Sabha last month.