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CBI files charge sheet against Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand for FCRA violation

Speed News Desk | First published: 10 January 2017, 15:31 IST
Teesta-ANI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 31 December 2016 filed a charge sheet against human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand and their publishing company Sabrang Communications and Publishing Private Limited (SCPPL) for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

According to a press release, the charge sheet was filed to the Mumbai special court against Setalvad (founder of Sabrang Trust and SCPPL and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)), Mr Javed Anand and SCPPL "for criminal conspiracy under Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, along with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). There were three key allegations, the first allegation was that Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, as columnists, were not eligible to accept foreign contributions in accordance with FCRA. The second allegation is that they did not seek prior permission from the Home Ministry for receiving the foreign contribution. The third allegation was that the company did not maintain an exclusive bank account for receipt of foreign contribution, as obligated under the FCRA."

Setalvad and Javed Anand have been summoned by the Mumbai special court to appear before court on 3 February 2017.

The press release further stated that "this is not the first case of judicial harassment on Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand. On 16 June 2016, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a notice to cancel the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of Sabrang Trust. According to Gujarat's Minister of State, Mr Rajnikant Patel, the state government contacted the Home Minister requesting the inquiry into the Setalvad's Sabrang Trust on the basis of their belief that foreign funds sent to her NGO, in particular by the US-based Ford Foundation, were misused in order "to create communal disharmony" within the state of Gujarat, and carrying out "anti-national propaganda" abroad."

Sabrang Trust and Sabrang Communications and Publishing Private Limited (SCPPL) were established after the 1992-1993 communal violence in Mumbai, and work to promote conflict resolution and support peace building. CJP was established in April 2002, in the immediate aftermath of the communal violence during the Gujarat riots, to provide legal aid to the survivors of the riots, and has been instrumental in obtaining the 117 convictions against perpetrators of the violence.

First published: 10 January 2017, 15:31 IST
 
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