Amnesty International India on Tuesday night said it will approach the Karnataka High Court against the freezing of its bank accounts, reported Live Law. Earlier in the day, the human rights organisation had cited “reprisal” from the government for winding down its operations – a decision that will put about 150 employees out of jobs. The group called the authorities’ action a part of an “incessant witch-hunt”.
Executive Director Avinash Kumar said the case was likely to go on over the next few months. “Timelines are hard to estimate due to the nature of the Indian judicial system and uncertainty due to the emergency measures enforced by the government of India and various state governments to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic that have led to restricted functioning of India’s courts,” he told ThePrint.
The human rights organisation has alleged that it was being forced to shut its operations as the Indian government froze its bank accounts. The group said its “lawful fundraising model” was being portrayed as money laundering because Amnesty India had challenged the “government’s grave inactions and excesses.”
The Centre accused the group of violating foreign funding laws, and called its allegations unfortunate, exaggerated and “far from the truth”. Amnesty’s “glossy statements” about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power were nothing but a “ploy to divert attention” from their activities, which were in “clear contravention” of Indian laws, it said. The government accused the group of trying to “extraneously influence” the investigations by multiple agencies into the alleged irregularities and illegalities carried out by it.