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FCRA licences of seven NGOs cancelled

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven NGOs, including one run by activist Shabnam Hashmi, were barred by the government from receiving foreign funds after their FCRA licences were cancelled following alleged adverse intelligence reports against them. Registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) of Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), run by Hashmi, Marwar Muslim Education and Welfare Society, Gujarat-based Navsarjan Trust, Rural Development Research Centre, Ahmedabad, and three others were cancelled by the Home Ministry, official sources said.The decision has been taken after the Home Ministry conducted an inquiry into the functioning of the NGOs whose FCRA licences were renewed in the recent past. There were adverse intelligence inputs against the seven NGOs ranging from allegedly working against public interest by using foreign funds, painting the government as “anti- Dalit” abroad, besides others.FCRA licences of these seven NGOs were claimed to have been renewed “inadvertently” despite alleged unfavourable intelligence reports. When it was detected during the emergency audit, their registration were cancelled with immediate effect, sources said.Home Ministry has already initiated a security audit of its website to ascertain the possibility hacking and subsequent leak of data. A red-faced Home Ministry has seen a series of faux pas in the matter of NGOs. Only on Wednesday, it cancelled renewal of FCRA licence of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad – Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace – two months after “inadvertently” allowing their registration for five more years.The Ministry has also ordered a review of recent renewal of FCRA registration of 13,000 NGOs to look into the possible violation of existing rules. While licence of Greenpeace India and Sabrang Trust were cancelled by the government in the past, Citizens for Justice and Peace was put in prior permission category, thus preventing it from accepting foreign funds without government permission.Similar embarrassing moments were witnessed two months ago when there was a lapse in “automatic renewal” of the licence of Zakir Naik’s NGO — Islamic Research Foundation– leading to suspension of four officials including a Joint Secretary. The FCRA licence of IRF was later cancelled by the government permanently after declaring it as a terror outfit.

After ‘inadvertently’ renewing, MHA cancels Greenpeace and Teesta Setalvad’s NGOs’ licences

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a flip-flop, the Home Ministry on Wednesday cancelled renewal of FCRA licences of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad, three months after “inadvertently” renewing those for five years.It also ordered a probe to ascertain if the computer systems had been hacked due to which the licences were renewed “automatically”.Renewal of licences of Greenpeace India, Teesta’s NGOs Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) stands cancelled with immediate effect, a Home Ministry official said. The Ministry also ordered a review of recent renewal of FCRA registration of 13,000 NGOs to look into the possible violation of rules.The Home Ministry also ordered a probe by the Computer Emergency Response Team-India to ascertain whether there was hacking of government software systems as there have been several instances where licences of NGOs under scrutiny were renewed automatically.Government ordered that applications of all “red-flagged NGOs will have to be vetted by Joint Secretary handling Home Ministry’s Foreigners Division. Orders, generated online, renewing FCRA licences of Greenpeace India, Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace stand “null and void” and they cannot receive foreign funds, the official said. Registration of these three NGOs was renewed for five years in September.While the licences of Greenpeace India and Sabrang Trust had been cancelled by the government in the past, Citizens for Justice and Peace was put in prior permission category, thus preventing it from receiving foreign funds without government permission.The Home Ministry had seen embarrassing moments two months ago when similar lapses were witnessed in “automatic renewal” of licence of Zakir Naik-run NGO — Islamic Research Foundation — leading to suspension of four officials including a Joint Secretary. The FCRA licence of IRF was later cancelled by the government permanently after declaring it as a terror outfit. The three NGOs were accused of “prejudicially affecting public interest” of the country and violation of various provisions of FCRA.

FCRA licence of Teesta Setalvad’s NGO renewed by Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The FCRA licence of an NGO run by activist Teesta Setalvad has been renewed by the government notwithstanding restrictions imposed on it in receiving foreign donations.The registration of Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP), run by Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, has been renewed, a Home Ministry official said. The renewal of FCRA registration of the CJP done despite it being under the prior permission category. Those NGOs, which are under prior permission category, have to take permission from the government before receiving foreign donations.CJP was under the scanner of Home Ministry for alleged misuse of grants to survivors of 2002 Gujarat riots following which it was put under the prior permission category by Home Ministry in July last year.Teesta is secretary of CJP and her two other NGOs Sabrang Trust and Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd are already under investigations by the CBI and Gujarat police. While Sabrang Trust’s FCRA licence was cancelled by the Home Ministry in June this year, Sabrang Communication is facing a CBI probe for receiving and allegedly misutilising the funds from Ford Foundation.Setalvad had denied all allegations while the Home Ministry has been maintaining that they had inspected the accounts of the CJP following a request from the Gujarat government last year.Interestingly, four Home Ministry officials, including a Joint Secretary, were suspended in August after renewal of an NGO run by controversial preacher Zakir Naik. Later, the FCRA licence of Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation was cancelled by the Home Ministry for alleged violation of FCRA.

Teesta Setalvad tried to ‘mix religion with politics’, spread disharmony: HRD Ministry panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An HRD Ministry panel has claimed that Teesta Setalvad and her Sabrang trust tried to “mix religion with politics” and spread disharmony while creating curricular material for the erstwhile UPA government which had given a grant of about Rs 1.4 crore.The Committee’s finding that a prima facie case exists against her under section 153A and 153B of IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc and imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration, has found favour with a top law officer.”The report of the inquiry committee is exhaustive and deals with every aspect of the matter and that action as suggested in the said report may be undertaken in terms of fixing liabilities/lapses, action for inciting disharmony and hatred and also for recovery of the money as is stipulated in the scheme itself,” the opinion of the law officer, stated to have been received by the HRD Ministry, said.He gave the opinion after going through the report of a three-member panel, set up by Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD), which examined disbursal and utilisation of funds received by Setalvad for her project ‘Khoj’ under the scheme of ‘National Policy on Education’.The three-member committee comprising Supreme Court lawyer Abhijit Bhattacharjee, Gujarat Central University Vice Chancellor S A Bari and a Ministry official Gaya Prasad set up by the Ministry examined the allegations levelled by Setalvad’s former close aide Rais Khan Pathan.Pathan in his complaint has alleged that Sabrang Trust’s publications “spread dissatisfaction among the minorities in the country and project India in a poor light” and indulging in anti national activities.The finding assumes significance as Setalvad has moved the Supreme Court as an intervenor in ongoing hearing in which the seven-judge constitution bench is revisiting two-decade old judgement holding that Hindutva is a “way of life” by seeking a direction for de-linking of politics from religion.Holding that education has never been the agenda of the ‘Sabrang Trust’ in any of its documents, the report said Setalvad and her trust “appear to be trying to mix religion with politics in the classroom of young children most of whom do not appear to be from well-to-do background. “And there lies the real problem and hurdle pertaining to its eligibility” for receiving the funds.However, the Committee, which questioned the grant of money to the tune of Rs 2.05 crore, out of which Rs 1.39 crore was released as the trust was unable to utilise 50% of the amount, said that one of the reasons for its ineligibility was that the documents of the trust suggested “brazen contempt of Supreme Court by Setalvad in her writing”.She has been quoted as saying “we have been in existence today on our annals of judgement from the apex court giving a clean chit to the philosphy of ‘Hindutva’, describing it as a ‘way of life’.The report said if this is not a fit case for an offence one wonders as to what is?The committee, which examined the materials and documents submitted by Setalvad as Director of ‘Sabrang Trust’, said that the then officials of the Ministry failed to detect the “false declarations” of the trust as they may be under some sort of “compulsions” to clear the project which had not found favour with the NCERT and suggested action against them also.The panel, which dissected that “a sizeable portion” of various written materials prepared by Setalvad for the trust/ ‘Khoj’ for teachers for the students of class V and VI contains “explosive literature” which reflects “hatred” and “venom” thereby falling fairly and squarely under section 153A and 153B of the IPC.The report said that the committee is of firm view that there is a hiatus between the theory and practice of ‘Sabrang Trust’ as it is simply “whipping up identity politics” which is not conducive to the avowed purpose for which the trust has tried to impress upon in the application form.The committee arrived at this finding by going through various documents of the trust that also clearly showed that the nature of pre-conceived notions on a subject of political agenda and holding Gujarat in low esteem, bordering on political criticism “thereby rendering it ineligible ab-initio (at the outset for funds)”.It held that the public money given under the scheme of ‘Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan’ to the trust/’Khoj’ was “clearly found to be spreading disharmony, feeling of enmity, hatred and ill will etc.”.The project ‘Khoj’ was launched by Setalvad’s NGO in some districts of Maharashtra.

HRD panel finds Teesta Setalvad culpable for ‘spreading hatred’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A committee set up the HRD Ministry has found activist Teesta Setalvad culpable for “hatred-filled, disharmony-spreading, ill-will generating, enmity-creating explosive writings”.The then HRD Minister Smriti Irani had in 2015 formed a three-member panel comprising Supreme Court lawyer Abhijit Bhattacharjee, Gujarat Central University Vice Chancellor S A Bari and a ministry official Gaya Prasad to look into allegations against NGO Sabrang Trust, based on a complaint. The panel has submitted its report to the current HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.According to sources, the committee has recommended in its report that there is compelling evidence to book Teesta under sections 153-A and 153-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), both pertaining to hate speeches.Any person booked under the said sections can be punished with jail terms and fine.The panel is also believed to have raised questions over the manner in which the amount was allocated to the trust “Sarva Siksha Abhiyan” by the previous UPA government. It is learnt that the NCERT, which was the appraiser of the particular project, had raised some objections yet the ministry sanctioned Rs 3 crore for the project.Sources said while the committee has not found any misappropriation of the funds, it has blamed the ministry for the manner in which the amount was sanctioned in the previous dispensation and if the panel’s recommendations are accepted, the officials then involved in the process can also face action.Setalvad, when contacted, claimed the allegations of misappropriation of funds could not be proved and to counter that charges of spreading hatred have been levelled. “In typical proto fascist style allegations have covered the infamous misappropriation of funds to now spreading hatred. Creating hatred…against whom? The RSS? The charge of misappropriation obviously could not be proven and so it is now down to this,” she told PTI in an email response.While HRD ministry officials did not comment on the contents of the report, they confirmed its submission.HRD ministry had also sought an opinion from the Law Ministry over the issue and is awaiting a response following which a final decision will be taken by Javadekar in this regard.In June, the Ministry of Home Affairs had cancelled the licence of the NGO under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.The trust also faces the allegation of using Ford grant to identify and lobby with media persons to “address communalism and caste-based discrimination in India”.

Unmasking Teesta Setalvad: Here’s why her NGO has lost its FCRA registration

The cancellation of FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration of Sabrang Trust is big blow to Teesta Setalvad and her secularist patrons and followers, both inside and outside of the country. Even the United Nations’ human rights experts have urged India to repeal the law restricting civil society access to foreign funding.

Teesta and her husband, Javed Anand — despite their documented acts of omission and commission, siphoning off of money for personal gains — have for long been taken as moving liberalist-secularist mascot. After all, the couple kept wounds of the 2002 Gujarat riots alive and used all possible means under the sun to somehow implicate Narendra Modi and have him under criminal trial for complicity in the riots. However, when charges were levelled against them by the authorities, her backers and sympathisers played the “victim card”, made noises of “vendetta” and charged the Modi government of total intolerance towards voices of dissent.

File photo of Teesta Setalvad. AFPFile photo of Teesta Setalvad. AFP

File photo of Teesta Setalvad. AFP

The key question here is — should no action be taken against her? Why does any action by the present government is dubbed as “vendetta” when Teesta has filed cases after cases against Narendra Modi? Should Teesta and her husband be treated differently under the law because they fall in the bracket of so called liberalist-secularist who challenged a “communalist” Narendra Modi’s regime in Gujarat?

The Foreigners division, FCRA wing, of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its order says, based on information received from our sources and scrutiny of various records of the Trust available with Firstpost, prima facie violations of various provisions of FCRA was noticed. An on-site inspection or a raid was conducted of books and accounts and records from 9-11 June 2015 at its Juhu Tara office. On 9 September FCRA registration of suspended and a show cause notice issued to Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Aanand. They were given, which MHA says as per their request, a personal hearing on 11 April 2016. On 16 June, the registration was cancelled with “immediate effect”.

Consider some of the FCRA violations done by Teesta and Javed Anand —

1. Teesta trust Sabrang made direct payment of around Rs 12 lakh from FCRA designated account to City Bank and Union Bank of India for credit card payments of cards belonging to Teesta and husband Javed Anand. The money as per the MHA order was used purely for personal gains. The foreign contributions went the couple personal expenditure like dining in hotels, food takeaways ordered at residence, cakes and sweets from premium outlets and also on sundry items, sanitary napkins, etc. That was in clear violation of Section 8(1) of FCRA 2010.

2. They spent up to 65 percent of the FCRA amount on administrative expenses, something which is not allowed as per the law.

3. Section 3(1)(B)(H) of FCRA says correspondents, columnists, cartoonists, editor, owners are included under Sabrang Communications and Publishing Private Limited. Teesta and Javed Anand are chief functionaries/Trustees of Sabrang Trust and also work as director, co-editors, printers, publishers of Sabrang communications which published a magazine communalism combat. Both entities functioned from same premises with same set of staff, infrastructure and other resources.

4. It transferred around Rs 2.50 lakh from Sabrang foreign contribution account to domestic account, which is liable to treated as misutilisation of funds.

5. Bulk purchase of sms for propaganda through foreign fund.

6. While Sabrung was registered for “educational and social” purposes, it received and spent substantive amount of foreign contribution under “cultural” head.

7. Even Javed Anand’s international medical policy for attending a Lahore Conference was paid by foreign contribution. Same was the case for his travel related expenses and purchase of books for attending a PUCL conference.

There are reports that Teesta’s Sabrang Communications and Publishing, which is not registered under FCRA, received d $290,000 from the US-based Ford Foundation between 2004 and 2014 without the government approval. The Ford Foundation was subsequently put on the watch-list following a Gujarat government complaint that it was interfering in India’s “internal affairs” and encouraging Teesta’s NGOs to promote “communal disharmony”

Teesta’s national or international fame came after she, her husband and some others formed an NGO “Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)” in April 2002. The CPJ began to litigate in various courts against the alleged complicity of the Narendra Modi and other persons in authority in Gujarat government. But the zeal to somehow nail Modi and in the process make personal monetary gains (fame in any case by a byproduct) made her stray from the path — use whatever means to achieve those goals.

Though there are cases against her, Gujarat Police can’t arrest her for now because she has got interim protection from Supreme Court where she had filed an appeal after Gujarat High Court rejected her anticipatory bail application.

The charges of misappropriation of funds for personal gains and tutoring witnesses, evening putting up false witnesses against her is long but they are in the legal domains and are still being fought in courts and under scrutiny of relevant authorities.

Consider some of the charges against her, made by her erstwhile associates and findings of Supreme Court monitored SIT.

First to come out against her was Zaheera Sheikh, a girl who for sometime had become face of riot survivor and key witness in Best Bakery case. Zaheera, however, was later charged of perjury.

The big blow for Teesta came in April 2009 when Times of India published a report claiming that the Supreme Court constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Gujarat riot cases had submitted before the Court that Teesta Setalvad had cooked up cases of violence to spice up the incidents. The SIT which is headed by former CBI director, R K Raghavan has said that false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents by Teesta Setalvad and other NGOs. The SIT charged her of “cooking up macabre tales of killings”.

The court was told that 22 witnesses, who had submitted identical affidavits before various courts relating to riot incidents, were questioned by SIT and it was found that the witnesses had not actually witnessed the incidents and they were tutored and the affidavits were handed over to them by Setalvad.

In 2011 Teesta Setalvad’s former aide Rais Khan Pathan filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging manipulation of evidence, which were in the form of statements of witnesses, by her in five sensitive post-Godhra riot cases. He alleged that he was employed to convince witnesses to give statements in riot cases, Khan was quoted as saying, “On the basis of hundreds of such false and fabricated affidavits prepared by CJP, the Supreme Court considered to transfer riot cases outside Gujarat.”

The worst of all charge which virtually unmasked Teesta came in 2013 when 12 residents of the Gulbarg Society accused her of collecting donations in the name of riot victims but failing to use them for their benefit and sent a legal notice to her. The notice said Setalvad has “collected huge donations from national and international organisations in the name of providing financial assistance for reconstruction of houses or developing the society into a museum…” But despite collecting foreign donation of Rs 63 lakh in the account of CJP and Rs 88 lakh in the account of Sabrang Trust, nothing has been passed on to the members of society. The surviving victims, in a separate letter to the city Police Commissioner, have also sought a ban on the NGO from organising annual event on February 28 as a mark of solidarity to the people who lost their lives during the 2002 riots.

This eventually led to filing of an FIR against her in January 2014 by Ahmedabad Police, a case in which her arrest has been stayed by the Supreme Court.

Now that Modi government has made its big move, cancellation of FCRA license to Sabrang Trust, chocking her major source of funding, her very most visible backers in various echelons have lot more ground cover to protect her from the proverbial long arms of the law.

Teesta Setalvad NGO issue – Not surprised by cancellation of FCRA, will seek legal advice: Javed Anand

Civil rights activist and husband of Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand has said that he is not surprised about the cancellation FCRA license for their NGO Sabrang Trust. by the Home Ministry “We’re not at all surprised by this cancellation (FCRA license), only surprising thing is why they’ve taken so long. We wrote a long reply to their showcause notice where we challenged each one of allegations they made. We requested for a personal hearing to argue our case in further detail, what we got was hearing that didn’t even last ten-minute. We still did not deny any violation of FCRA rules by our NGO. We will seek legal advice and see how can we challenge this cancellation,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Ministry issued an order on Thursday evening saying that the central government has cancelled the permanent registration of trust with immediate effect. The government argued that the foreign funds received by the NGO under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence had not been used for the purposes meant. The order said that during inspection, the Home Ministry found that foreign contribution has been “frequently used” for items of “personal expenses eg for dining in hotels, food takeaways ordered at their residences, cakes and sweets from premium outlets, purchase of purely personal items like ear-buds, wet wipes, clippers, sanitary napkins by both Teesta and Anand, which have been reimbursed to the trustees from FCRA account.” The Sabrang Trust has spent an amount of Rs 50 lakh for Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL), of which Teesta and Anand are working as directors, co-editors, printers and publisher, “clearly violating the mandate of the FCRA,” the MHA order said. “By this action, the NGO has not only unauthorisedly utilised the foreign contribution for the purposes of an unregistered entity but also that entity being a self-owned media and publication company, utilised that amount for activities totally prohibited by FCRA,” it added.The order said the NGO had transferred an amount of Rs 2.46 lakh from its foreign contribution designated account to Sabrang Trust domestic account, thus mixing of domestic and foreign funds and violating the rules.Sabrang Trust has made direct payments of approximately Rs 12 lakh from FCRA designated account to Citi Bank and Union Bank of India on account of credit cards belonging to Teesta and Anand respectively.The cards are issued in the name of the individuals and the above payments of the foreign contribution shall be treated to have been used for personal gain, the Home Ministry said.With agency inputs.

India using funding law to foil dissenting charities – U.N. experts | Reuters

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – United Nations experts on Thursday called on India to repeal a law on foreign donations to charities, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government of using it to block funds to organisations considered critical of the state.

Since Modi swept to power more than two years ago, his right-wing nationalist government has tightened surveillance on foreign-funded charities regulated under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

More than 10,000 civil society groups in India have had their licences to receive overseas donations cancelled or suspended since 2014, impairing their ability to work in areas from health to the environment.

The government says the groups violate the FCRA by not disclosing details of their donations or have used foreign funds to engage in “anti-national” activities.

But U.N. experts said they were stunned by the way India was applying the law to stymie its critics.

“We are alarmed that FCRA provisions are being used more and more to silence organisations involved in advocating civil, political, economic, social, environmental or cultural priorities, which may differ from those backed by the government,” said a statement by U.N. Special Rapporteurs Michel Forst, David Kaye and Maina Kiai, who focus on human rights defenders and freedoms of expression and association.

Groups such as Greenpeace India, Lawyers Collective and the Sabrang Trust have had their licenses suspended, said the statement from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Greenpeace campaigns against nuclear power and coal mining, Lawyers Collective works on sexual minorities rights and Sabrang Trust is run by Teesta Setalvad, a prominent human rights activist and Modi critic.

A home ministry official contacted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation said he was not in a position to respond immediately to the comments by the U.N. experts.

There is no official number of charities operating in India, but the government estimates at least two million non-profits work in such areas as the environment, climate change and protecting minority rights.

A 2013 report by the home ministry said some 43,500 groups were registered as charities that received foreign funds but slightly less than half provided details of their donations.

Home ministry officials have said they are enforcing the FCRA to make the non-profit sector compliant and transparent and ensure charities are not engaging in illegal political or anti-national activities.

The U.N. experts said use of the FCRA was “overly broad” and activities deemed political or against the economic interest of the state were vague.

They singled out the treatment of the Lawyers Collective, which works on improving the rights of sexual minorities and those living with HIV/AIDS as an attempt to intimidate, delegitimise and silence the group.

“Human rights defenders and civil society must have the ability to do their important job without being subjected to increased limitations on their access to foreign funding,” the U.N. experts said.

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Teesta Setalvad files: Court extends CBI custody of MHA official Anand Joshi

A special court extended the CBI custody of MHA official Anand Joshi till May 24 for allegedly issuing FCRA notices arbitrarily to several NGOs for financial gains after the agency said it needed to interrogate him in connection with some files seized during the probe. Special CBI Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna allowed the agency’s plea in which it was mentioned that seven new files have been recovered during the investigation and the accused is also required to be confronted in relation to certain emails sent to private persons and properties in the name of his wife.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After considering the submissions, I am of the considered opinion that for the purpose of thorough investigation, the remand be extended till May 24,” the judge said.The agency’s plea was opposed by Joshi’s counsel who said that CBI has already got enough time.He said that Joshi had cooperated in the interrogation earlier and five days were enough to investigate the matter.During the hearing, the accused told the court that he was “mentally depressed” after which the judge ordered his medical examination today.Joshi, who was arrested from west Delhi on May 15, was produced in court after expiry of CBI custody.CBI had earlier claimed that the files relating to several NGOs had gone missing from Home Ministry and they were recovered from his house although he was not supposed to take them away.It had alleged that Joshi had been issuing notices dishonestly to a large number of NGOs/societies registered under the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) 2010, which have been receiving significant amount of foreign contributions, in an arbitrary manner.It has said some of these organisations are Care India, Snehalya Charitable Trust, Indian HIV/AIDS Alliance and All India Primary Teachers Federation and alleged that the representatives of some of these organisations were called and Joshi demanded and obtained illegal gratification. Joshi, who had disappeared last week from his home in Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, was picked up from Tilak Nagar area of West Delhi on Sunday and taken to the CBI headquarters for questioning. Subsequently, he was arrested by the agency. Joshi has rejected the charge and instead accused his seniors of pressuring him to give a clean chit to NGOs. In a note which he had left before leaving home, Joshi claimed he had been subjected to “mental harassment” in recent months.CBI had alleged that Joshi laundered ill-gotten earnings in various immovable assets as well as certain private firms which were floated by him and his wife was one of the directors in them.It alleged even after his transfer from FCRA division, he continued to indulge in corrupt activities on the basis of documents which were in his possession unauthorisedly.The agency claimed that during the search conducted at Joshi’s house, one file pertaining to FCRA which pertains to private NGO Care India Solutions for Sustainable Development has been seized and his interrogation was needed to know as to how the official files made way in his house and what was his intention in bringing them.The matter came to light after files pertaining to alleged FCRA violations by two NGOs run by Setalvad went missing from the Home Ministry. The files were traced and restored to the FCRA division but CBI was asked to investigate the matter.It was noticed that the files had gone missing when the Home Ministry took a decision to cancel FCRA registration of one of Setalvad’s NGOs, Sabrang Trust, sources had said. Joshi was arrested on May 15 after he allegedly gave unconvincing answers to the questions posed by a team of Special Crime division of the CBI, including those related to disappearance of files related to Sabrang Trust of activist Teesta Setalvad.

Teesta Setalvad files: CBI to produce Anand Joshi in court today

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will produce Home Ministry Under Secretary Anand Joshi in court on Monday after he was arrested in connection with issuance of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) notices arbitrarily to NGOs for financial gains.Joshi is likely to be produced before the Patiala CBI special court. Joshi, who went ‘missing’ from his residence last week after leaving behind a note, in which he said he had been facing ‘mental harassment’ for the last few months, was detained in the national capital for questioning.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI had registered case against Joshi under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and prevention of corruption act, after conducting raids at four locations, including Joshi’s residence and office.The CBI had said that cash worth Rs. 7.5 lakh and certain ‘incriminating documents’, including files pertaining to MHA and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, were recovered from the premises of the officer during the raid. Joshi, who was recently posted in the foreigners’ division, had access to files relating to the FCRA. According to MHA officials, Joshi was under the scanner for several months. The CBI was informed after MHA officials ascertained that Joshi was taking bribes. CBI then filed a case against Joshi for allegedly indulging in corrupt activities and arbitrarily issuing notices to non-governmental organisations (NGO) and societies receiving significant amount of foreign currency. The MHA official was allegedly demanding illegal gratification from some organisations which were laundered through immovable assets and private companies. In searches conducted at four locations including Joshi’s residence and office almost Rs 7.5 lakh was recovered and files from the MHA and ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) were found.The missing files pertaining to the Sabrang Trust were also recovered from Joshi’s residence.In a statement released by the Sabrang Trust, Setalvad clarified they have not committed any violation of FCRA norms. “The ‘order’ dated September 9, 2015, suspending FCRA registration for 180 days had been arrived in an arbitrary manner without application of mind,” the statement read. Setalvad went on to confirm that Joshi was not part of the four-member team that inspected their offices. However, the NGO received an official communication from Joshi dated June 4, 2015, that made certain “observations” concerning alleged violations of FCRA, 2010 and FCR rules, 2011.The CBI has registered a case under sections 13(2) read with 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 120b of the Indian Penal Code.

Probe in missing files related to Teest Setalvad’s NGO unearths nexus in MHA

CBI has registered a case against an Under Secretary of the Home Ministry for allegedly issuing FCRA notices arbitrarily to several NGOs for financial gains.The case was slapped against Under Secretary Anand Joshi and some other unnamed persons for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices and arbitrarily issuing notices to many NGOs, registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, which were receiving foreign contributions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The accused allegedly obtained bribe from some of these organisations through immovable assets and certain private companies, official sources said.Searches were conducted at four locations of the accused official, they said.The issue came to the fore after files pertaining to the alleged FCRA violations by two NGOs run by social activist Teesta Setalvad went missing from the Home Ministry. The files were traced and restored in the FCRA division but CBI was asked to investigate the matter.It was noticed that the files had gone missing when the Home Ministry took a decision to cancel FCRA registration of one of Setalvad’s NGOs, Sabrang Trust, sources said.Sabrang Trust’s licence was suspended on September 9, 2015 by MHA and it asked for an explanation from the firm, failing which FCRA registration would have been cancelled in 180 days.Setalvad filed her reply in October and the deadline given by MHA expired in March this year.When Home Ministry officials found that the files had gone missing, they conducted an inquiry and identified the official who had taken away the files. He was summoned and the files were restored.A senior Home Ministry official said the government has taken the matter very seriously and hence asked CBI to conduct a probe.An Under Secretary is not allowed to take away files, only Joint Secretary and above are allowed to take the files home. It is a serious violation, the official added.