Two days after the Income Tax Department conducted a “survey” on their premises, global non-profit organization Oxfam India and the Independent and Public-Spiritual Media Foundation (IPSMF) which funds several digital media entities said that IT personnel Their phones have been confiscated. Team members for cloning to recover data.
In a statement on Friday, Oxfam India said: “Officers of the Income Tax (IT) Department conducted an Income Tax ‘Survey’ at Oxfam India. Delhi Office 7 September 2022 from noon to the early hours of 9 September. During these non-stop surveys of over 35 hours, Oxfam India team members were not allowed to leave the premises; Internet was snapped and all mobile phones were confiscated.”
“The Income Tax Survey team took hundreds of pages of data related to finance and programs of Oxfam India. They also took all the data by cloning the Oxfam India servers and personal mobile phones of the senior leadership team and finance lead,” it said.
“While the survey team was courteous and professional, the process of conducting a survey with such wide powers and wide scope has resulted in disappointing Oxfam India, an organization that has been law-abiding and community-centric,” stating that Oxfam India was compliant with all local laws including the Income Tax Act and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
The IPSMF said it “did not receive any foreign funds at any stage”.
TN Ninan, chairman of the board of trustees of IPSMF, said in a statement: “A team of income tax officials came to the foundation’s Bengaluru office on Wednesday, September 7 for a “survey”. They stayed till 4.30 pm. Going through papers and records and asking questions. The staff of the Foundation were cooperative and they answered all the questions asked to them on a variety of matters. The officials took the statements of three senior staff members.
“All the laptops and mobile phones were taken for cloning the data in them and came back last night. All employees except CEO Sunil Rajasekhar were allowed to go home in various phases in the evening/night of 7th September and asked to return the next morning for further enquiries. The CEO slept in the office for a few hours on the intervening night of 7-8 September. The Board of Trustees congratulates the employees for their good enthusiasm and patience through the extended proceedings. IT officers were polite during their survey work,” he said.
“The Foundation believes that its affairs are completely in order. Some media reporting on IT surveys has linked it to foreign funding and funding of political parties. We would like to clarify that the Foundation should be treated at any stage. But has received no foreign funding, and has funded only media organizations. The foundation believes in its mission to support independent and people-spirited media, and intends to continue its work,” Ninan said. .
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The think tank Center for Policy Research (CPR), which was subject to an IT “survey” on Wednesday, also made a statement on Friday. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and we are confident that we have done nothing wrong. We will work with officials to address any questions they may have,” said CPR President and Chief Executive Yamini Iyer. are committed to.
The statement said that as one of the 24 research institutes of the Indian Council of Social Science Research network, “CPR has all the necessary approvals and restrictions, and is authorized by the government as recipients under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.” Is”.
“We have extended full cooperation to the department during the survey and will continue to do so in future also,” Iyer said.