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CBI files chargesheet against Teesta Setalvad's organization for receiving funds from abroad without clearance

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against Teesta Setalvad’s organization. The case is related to alleged FCRA violations by Setalvad’s organisation. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had filed an official complaint against Setalvad, accusing her of receiving funds from abroad without taking permission from the MHA.

Following the complaint, the CBI on July 7 had registered a case in the matter and named Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand as the accused. The chargesheet was filed in a Mumbai court against Setalvad on December 31. Other chargesheeted include Sabrang Communications Private Limited, Javaid Ahmed and Sushma Raman.

Earlier, the Home Ministry had cancelled the renewal of FCRA licences of Greenpeace India and two NGOs run by activist Teesta Setalvad, three months after “inadvertently” renewing those for five years. It also ordered a probe to ascertain if the computer systems had been hacked due to which the licences were renewed “automatically”.

Renewal of licences of Greenpeace India, Teesta’s NGOs Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) stands cancelled with immediate effect, a Home Ministry official had said.

The Ministry had also ordered a review of recent renewal of FCRA registration of 13,000 NGOs to look into the possible violation of rules.

The Home Ministry also ordered a probe by the Computer Emergency Response Team-India to ascertain whether there was hacking of government software systems as there have been several instances where licences of NGOs under scrutiny were renewed automatically.

The Home Ministry had seen embarrassing moments two months ago, when similar lapses were witnessed in “automatic renewal” of licence of Zakir Naik-run NGO — Islamic Research Foundation — leading to suspension of four officials including a Joint Secretary. The FCRA licence of IRF was later cancelled by the government permanently after declaring it as a terror outfit. The three NGOs were accused of “prejudicially affecting public interest” of the country and violation of various provisions of FCRA.