Home / News / India /  Zubair arrest row: Only domestic payments enabled for Alt News, says Razorpay

Payment gateway Razorpay on July 8 said only domestic payments were enabled for the fact-checking website Alt News and foreign transactions were not allowed without FCRA approval. Alt News used Razorpay to receive donations.

Earlier last week, Delhi Police told a Delhi court that they were investigating alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by Alt News in their probe against co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

Making the clarification, Razorpay co-founder and CEO Harshil Mathur took to Twitter and said the payment gateway had shared with investigating authorities 'only specific data' within the scope of the investigation.

"While I am not allowed to share the specifics owing to the ongoing investigation, I want to state that the concerned business was only enabled to receive domestic payments in-line with our policy to not allow international transactions without FCRA approval for donation pages," he said, without directly naming Alt News.

he said the specific scope of the investigating agencies' request was only to determine whether there were any foreign donations.

"And therefore donors' PAN, address, pin code etc were not shared, which we believed were outside the scope of the investigation," he said.

ALSO READ: Zubair arrest row: Razorpay responds to Alt News charge

The probe into Alt News payments follows Zubair's arrest following a complaint from a Twitter account that said he insulted Hindus in 2018 when he posted an image from an old Hindi movie.

Mathur, while commenting on Alt News saying they were not contacted before the information was share, added that Razorpay had reached out on registered mobile numbers of the business but could not reach them.

"In hindsight, we understand it may have been difficult for them to get on the phone in such a situation and we could have tried to find other channels," he said.

He said that Rajorpay on Monday received a written notice for transaction data for a specific time period.

"We immediately reached out to the authorities to understand the scope and reasons for the request. A Razorpay senior leader went from Bengaluru to Delhi to speak to the authorities," he said. "As is our process, we consulted multiple legal experts on this and got a unanimous view that we have to comply with the request."

Currently, Razorpay temporarily disabled Alt News' business account awaiting clarity on the purpose of the investigation to safeguard and prevent consumer losses.

"We have always championed the need for an appropriate data privacy law in the country," he said. "We are not perfect, to anyone who feels that there is something else we could have done, my DMs are always open, please give us feedback."

With PTI inputs.

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