Teesta Setalvad, husband used NGO funds on credit cards, dining, earbuds: Govt | india-news | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jul 23, 2017-Sunday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Teesta Setalvad, husband used NGO funds on credit cards, dining, earbuds: Govt

The home ministry cited the use of foreign funds by NGO Sabrang Trust for purchase of personal items such as ear-buds and sanitary napkins as one of six violations that led to the cancellation of its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

india Updated: Jun 17, 2016 12:55 IST
Aloke Tikku
The home ministry cited the use of foreign funds by NGO Sabrang Trust for purchase of personal items such as ear-buds and sanitary napkins as one of six violations that led to the cancellation of its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
The home ministry cited the use of foreign funds by NGO Sabrang Trust for purchase of personal items such as ear-buds and sanitary napkins as one of six violations that led to the cancellation of its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).(AFP)

The government’s “unusual” order revoking the license of Teesta Setalvad’s NGO to receive foreign funds has left little to the imagination.

The home ministry cited the use of foreign funds by NGO Sabrang Trust for purchase of personal items such as ear-buds and sanitary napkins as one of six violations that led to the cancellation of its licence under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Read: Activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO registration cancelled by government

Among them were Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, using Rs 12 lakh from the foreign funds to pay for expenses incurred on their personal credit cards. Besides, they also used the trust’s account to pay for “dining in hotels, food takeaways ordered at their residence, and cake and sweets from premium outlets”.

Read: Modi govt using funding law to foil dissenting NGOs, stymie critics: UN experts

The clincher, it seems, was a list of “purely personal items” bought with foreign funds — such as “ear-buds, wet wipes, nail clippers, sanitary napkins”. This wasn’t one of the declared purpose for which the NGO had received money from abroad and thus was a violation of the FCRA law, the order noted.

Read:Bureaucrat says was forced to favour Ford foundation, goes missing

A government official was surprised at the graphic details of personal items in the government order, released on Thursday. “It is unusual, to say the least,” said the official, who earlier served at the home ministry.

Though Setalvad’s ‘shopping list’ was made public, the home minister order does not mention when the purchases were made.

According to annual returns filed by the trust with the ministry, it hasn’t received any foreign funds in the past few years. It last received about Rs 50 lakh from the Ford Foundation in 2011-12.

Incidentally, another reason cited to justify its decision dates back to 2007. This is when the trust declared receiving Rs 1.5 lakh for maintenance of a place of historical or cultural importance in its annual return. However, the ministry noted that the amount could not be legal as the trust was registered as an educational and social body, and not a cultural one.