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Teesta Setalvad’s NGO’s licence suspended for six months

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New Delhi :In fresh crackdown on an NGO run by social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Home Ministry today suspended its registration for six months accusing the organisation of violating Foreign Currency (Regulation) Act that invites termination of its licence.

In an order, the Home Ministry said exercising the powers conferred under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the registration of Sabrang Trust has been suspended for a period of 180 days with effect from September 10, 2015.

The Sabrang Trust, run by Teesta and her husband Javed Anand, can make a representation against the order within 30 days. However, if the Home Ministry is not satisfied with the reply of the NGO, its registration will be cancelled.

Another NGO run by Teesta and her husband, Citizens for Justice and Peace, has already been put under prior permission category, thus making it mandatory for the organisation to take permission from the Home Ministry before accepting or utilising any foreign contribution.

Following a recommendation of the Home Ministry, CBI has registered a case and launched a probe against Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited, a commercial firm run by Teesta, for allegedly accepting and utilising foreign contribution in violation of FCRA.

Teesta has pursued the cases of post-Godhra riots victims in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of the state.

Today’s Home Ministry order said that during the course of inspection of records of Sabrang Trust, it was noticed that both Teesta and Javed Anand are chief functionary or trustee of the NGO.

Both are also working as directors, co-editors, printers and publisher in the company namely Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL) and published a magazine called ‘Communalism Combat’. SCPPL had accepted contribution from foreign source, thus violating FCRA, it said.

On inspection of accounts of Sabrang Trust, it was noticed that the Association has received total donation of Rs 48.42 lakh and Rs 49.10 lakh in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively out of which they have spent Rs 30.97 lakh and Rs 27.07 lakh which comes to 64.23 per cent and 55.14 per cent respectively, on administrative expenses.

As per section 8 (1)(b) of FCRA 2010 requires approval of the Home Ministry before incurring expenses on administrative head exceeding 50 per cent limit. Thus, it is a violation of FCRA, the ministry said.

PTI