Amnesty India on Thursday alleged that the government is deliberately attempting to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to the media without giving it access to any such information.
Amnesty India's claim, made through a press statement and also posted on its website, follows reports in a section of media about proceedings launched by investigative agencies including the Enforcement Directorate against the rights body for alleged violations of rules pertaining to overseas donations.
There was no reaction from the ED or any other agency.
In its statement, Amnesty India called for an immediate end to this "smear campaign and an independent inquiry into the selective leaks of information that are fuelling this smear campaign".
"The latest leak of a dossier on Amnesty India by the Enforcement Directorate based on its ongoing investigations, indicates a deliberate attempt by the government to tarnish Amnesty India’s reputation," the statement quoted Amnesty India's Aakar Patel as saying.
"If the authorities believe that Amnesty India has committed an offence, they must prove it in a court of law. However, the Enforcement Directorate seems to be leaking selective information and conducting a media trial," Patel alleged.
The Bengaluru office of Amnesty India was raided by the Enforcement Directorate on October 25 - two years after the rights body came under the scanner of investigation agencies for possible violation of rules involving foreign funding.
The searches were 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.
"In the three weeks since we were raided by the Enforcement Directorate, no formal charges have been filed against us. So, it is really shocking to see media coverage of what is alleged to be documents from the investigation.
"It is important to note that Amnesty India has still not been given access to the dossier and has repeatedly been denied access to such information by the agency," Patel claimed.
(With inputs from PTI)
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