Today morning the Central Bureau of Investigation raided the office and residence of Harsh Mander after the ministry of home affairs had last year recommended an inquiry for the alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act by his non-governmental organisation Aman Biradari Trust.
TODAY, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the office and residence of human rights defender, advocate, activist and former Indian Administrative Service officer Harsh Mander in Delhi.
The FCRA registration allows the organisation to access foreign funding.
In 2002, after the Gujarat pogrom, Mander left government service and became a social activist. Hefounded the trust soon after that.
The trust works to provide livelihood legal support, and constitutional knowledge to people from different religions, castes and communities. It attempts to foster communal harmony and is a “people’s campaign for a secular, peaceful, just and humane world”.
Last March, the Union ministry of home affairs recommended a CBI inquiry into the trust for an allegation of violation of provisions of the FCRA.
As per reports, the CBI has not made any arrests. However, it has seized documents from his residence and office.
Activists have alleged that the FCRA is increasingly being invoked to suppress activism led by civil society organisations against the ruling government.
In 2017, theFinance Bill, was introduced, by which an amendment to the FCRA was made to introduce the electoral bond scheme through which political parties would receive funding.
As per statistics, between 2018 and 2022, 1,827 organisations werefound to violate the FCRA provisions by the Union government.
In 2016, three United Nations human rights expertsexpressedtheir concerns over the FCRA being increasingly invoked to “obstruct civil society’s access to foreign funding” and stated that the law fails to comply with the “international human rights norms and standards”.