The Delhi High Court has been apprised by the Centre regarding alleged irregularities in foreign contributions received by the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) which have reportedly been utilised for purposes contrary to its registered objectives.
As per Indian Express, CPR has challenged the suspension of its certificate under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by the Centre, and the matter is scheduled for a hearing today (10 October).
According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs' response, the Income Tax Department conducted a survey operation in September 2022, sharing pertinent findings concerning CPR's utilisation of foreign contributions.
The affidavit submitted by the ministry asserts that CPR's actions constitute a clear violation of FCRA provisions. It was discovered that CPR transferred foreign contributions to other entities and deposited them in non-designated accounts, contravening Section 7 of the FCRA, which prohibits such transfers.
The response from CPR to a questionnaire by the Ministry of Home Affairs was found to be "unsatisfactory". This questionnaire aimed to probe reported violations by the Income Tax Department.
Under FCRA, if the competent authority establishes violations, the registration may be cancelled following an inquiry.
The affidavit also underscores the potential implications of CPR's activities on the state's economic interests and the gravity of these violations.
In order to prevent further diversion and misuse of foreign contributions and safeguard the state's economic interests, the Centre opted for an immediate suspension of foreign funding for CPR's activities.
This suspension aligns with Section 13 of the FCRA, which does not require prior notice for registration suspension.
On 29 August, the high court had given the Centre until 5 September to make a decision on CPR's request for the release of '25 per cent of unused funds' following the suspension of its FCRA certificate.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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