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CBI probe ordered into fund transfers between ford foundation and Setalvad's firm for FCRA violations

Government ordered a CBI probe into transfer of funds by Ford Foundation to SCPPL, a firm with which social activist Teesta Setalvad is associated, on the grounds of FCRA violations.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:June 26, 2015, 6:19 PM IST
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CBI probe ordered into fund transfers between ford foundation and Setalvad's firm for FCRA violations
Government ordered a CBI probe into transfer of funds by Ford Foundation to SCPPL, a firm with which social activist Teesta Setalvad is associated, on the grounds of FCRA violations.
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New Delhi: Government, on Friday, ordered a CBI into transfer of funds by US-based Ford Foundation to Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL), with which social activist Teesta Stelvad is associated, allegedly in violation of rules and froze a bank account of the firm.

Sources said SCPPL was allegedly in violation of rules of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) in accepting a donation of $ 2.9 lakh from Ford Foundation without getting clearance of the Home Ministry.

According to the rules, an organisation or a private firm can accept donations from overseas only after it is registered under FCRA. This donation was, therefore, a "serious violation" of FCRA provisions which mandate funding from a foreign source to only those recipients who have FCRA registration, the sources said.

A bank account of the firm located in Juhu, Mumbai, has been frozen at the instruction of the Home Ministry, the sources said.

Gujarat government had asked the Home Ministry to take action against Ford Foundation, alleging that the US-based organisation was "interfering in internal affairs" of the country and also "abetting communal disharmony" through an NGO run by Setalvad.

The fund transfer from Ford Foundation has, at present, to be cleared by a nodal official in the Home Ministry.

In April, the government had ordered that funds from Ford Foundation should not be released by any bank to any Indian NGO without mandatory permission from the Home Ministry.

Gujarat government and Setalvad are embroiled in legal battles. While she has filed several cases against the state government functionaries, including the then chief minister Narendra Modi in connection with post Godhra riots of 2002, the state police have filed a case of alleged embezzlement of funds against her.

Setalvad had, in her statement earlier, said that Sabrang Trust had co-operated with a Home Ministry team which visited its offices.

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