The move assumes significance as the NGO is now barred from receiving and utilising foreign aid
In a major set back to Teesta Setalvad, the Union Home Ministry has cancelled the registration of Sabrang Trust, an NGO run by the activist, under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act, months after it had suspended the licence of the organisation.
The move assumes significance as the NGO is now barred from receiving and utilising foreign aid. The Sabrang Trust is run by Teesta and her husband Javed Anand. The other organisations run by Teesta are already under prior permission category while the Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Ltd is facing a CBI probe for allegedly violating FCRA provisions.
Teesta was in the forefront of fighting cases for the victims of post-Godhra riots in Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serving as chief minister of the state.
In its order dated June 16, the MHA said that ''based on information received from our sources and the scrutiny of the records of the Association available'' with it, ''prima facie violations of various provisions of FCRA 2010 were noticed''.
It said that during the on-site inspection of books of accounts and records of Sabrang Trust at its registered office in Juhu in Mumbai, '' it emerged that the NGO had indulged in various activities in violation of FCRA''.
The MHA , in its order, said that the NGO incurred 64.23 per cent of the foreign contribution on administrative expenditure during 2010-11 and 55.14 per cent during 2011-12 without obtaining the prior approval of the central governmentâ€”a violation of the section 8 of FCRA 2010.
It further said that the NGO has spent an amount of Rs 50 Lakh for Sabrang Communications and Publishing PVT Ltd (a self owned media and publications company) clearly violating the mandate of the FCRA.
The association had also transferred an amount of Rs 2,46,954 from its foreign contribution designated account to Sabrang Trust domestic account on January 14, 2011, the ministry said and added that "This is the mixing of domestic and foreign funds by the association and is liable to be treated as mis-utilisation of foreign contribution."
"The central government cancels the permanent registration of Sabrang Trust with immediate effect," the ministry said in its six-point order.
Teesta's NGO had in the past denied all allegations and submitted its reply to the ministry's showcause notice. However, not satisfied with the replies and based on its own inspection and reports, the officials in the ministry said the NGO is now barred from receiving and utilising foreign aid.
The home ministry had suspended the licence of Sabrang Trust on September 9, 2015.