The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed charges against Teesta Seetalvad for suspected breach of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The others named in the chargesheet are her husband, Javed Ahmad, and Sabrang Communications and Publishing Private Limited - a company they are associated with - and Sushma Raman, programme officer of the Ford Foundation.
According to Times of India, the chargesheet has been filed under sections of the FCRA and for criminal conspiracy under the IPC. Earlier, the Home Ministry had cancelled Setalvad's NGO's FCRA license after grave irregularities were found in the account books and the manner in which the funds were being utilised by her NGO.
Funds to the tune of $2.9 lakh were issued as ‘grants’ but shown as ‘consultancy fees’ received by Seetalvad’s ‘NGO’, the CBI said in its statement. “While they were grants issued by Ford Foundation, the NGO showed it as consultancy fees. However, the account books maintained by Ford Foundation reflect otherwise,” the chargesheet stated. The chargesheet also says that these donations were made to influence “political activities and press”.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, where the chargesheet has been filed, has directed the accused to appear before the court on 3 February.
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