Fact-checking website Alt News alleged on Tuesday that payment gateway Razorpay had shared its donor details with police without informing them.
In a statement, Razorpay, without referring to Alt News’s specific accusation, said it was mandated to comply with the written order of legal authorities under the provisions of the law.
Razorpay had deactivated Alt News’s account on its donation platform following a request from the police and later re-enabled it.
Alt News said they had been told by the donation platform that their account was reactivated “after getting some clarity.” “They have not specified what this clarity is,” the fact-checking website said.
Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police Cyber Crime Unit last week for allegedly hurting religious sentiments over a 2018 tweet. He has been sent to 14 days in court custody. His lawyer had submitted a bail application, which was rejected by the court after Delhi police claimed they were also investigating FCRA violations.
On Monday, AltNews released a statement that people were unable to donate because Razorpay disabled the donation link. Shortly after, Razorpay said the account had been reactivated “after clarity on the issue.” “…the merchant’s (AltNews) account was temporarily deactivated from the Razorpay platform, as a security measure, during the preliminary investigation by law enforcement authorities,” a Razorpay spokesperson said. “After clearing up the issue, we have unlocked and reactivated the account.”
According to The Indian Express, a senior official said: “We approached Razorpay about the donations and asked for account details. They asked us if we wanted to freeze their account. We said there was no need as our investigation concerns donations made from foreign accounts. They themselves took action against AltNews. We have received account and transaction details from the company.”
“Allegations of AltNews having received funds from foreign sources from whom we cannot receive donations are false… Razorpay handed over donor data to the police. This was done without informing us, or without even a preliminary investigation of any violation on the part of Alt News,” reads the statement of AltNews.
However, Razorpay also issued a statement: “While we strive to ensure that transactions on the platform are secure, at the same time… we fully comply with all necessary Indian laws and regulations. We had received a written order from the legal authorities under Section 91 CrPC and we are bound to comply with the same as per the regulation under the provisions of Indian law.”
Zubair was first arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday for hurting religious sentiments in a tweet posted in March 2018.
New cases have been added to the previously reported case. Fresh charges have been filed against Zubair under sections 120B and 201 and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
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