According to the Court, only domestic donations will be accepted by Oxfam and Care India.
Recently, the Delhi High Court overturned an Income Tax Department order that revoked Oxfam India’s and another non-profit organization’s tax exemption status, providing relief to both organizations.
However, a bench consisting of Justices Yashwant Varma and Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav declared that Oxfam and Care India would only accept donations from within the country.
The Bench made the decision after noting that the Center for Policy Research (CPR) had previously received comparable relief from a co-ordinate bench of the High Court. Even though the Income Tax Department appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, the directives were not halted.
“We consequently hold that the petitioners shall be entitled to interim reliefs in terms identical to those provided in paragraphs 17-19 of the aforenoted order of 25 August 2023 passed in W.P.(C) 11270/2023 [CPR case], subject to the clarification that the donations that may be accepted by the petitioners pursuant to the aforenoted interim directions shall be confined to domestic contributions only,” the Court ordered.
On February 27, it listed the cases that Oxfam, Care India, and the Center for Policy Research had filed for additional action.
Senior Attorney Arvind P. Datar represented Oxfam, Care India, and the Centre for Policy Research, along with Advocates Sachit Jolly, Rishabh Malhotra, Disha Jham, Soumya Singh, and Devansh Jain.
Sanjeev Menon, Vipul Agrawal, and Advocate Zoheb Hossain represented the Income Tax Department.
The maintainability of these matters has been contested by the Income Tax authorities.
The government cancelled Oxfam, Care India, and CPR’s income tax exemptions last year.
Care India’s status was canceled for an undisclosed reason; however, Oxfam India was accused by the Income Tax authorities of being “involved in the activity of submission to UN Global Impact to delist Adani Ports, which is not as per the objects of the assessee,” according to a Newslaundry report.
Another justification offered was Oxfam’s involvement in “discussing political issues in the meeting that do not align with the assessee’s objectives and questioning the integrity of the government.”
As reported by Bar & Bench in August last year, the High Court had stayed the Income Tax reassessment proceedings initiated against Oxfam.
The reassessment proceedings against Centre for Policy Research have also been stayed by the High Court.