Union home ministry is likely to ask the CBI to probe foreign funding of activist Teesta Setalvad’s Sabrang Communication and Publishing Private Limited (SCPPL) in alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), sources said.
Setlavad and her NGOs are on the forefront of civil society campaign against atrocities committed on Muslims during the Gujarat riots of 2002. Her criticism of the Gujarat government then led by Narendra Modi on the riots issue, resulted in bitter war of word between the activist and the BJP.
Teesta’s NGOs are now under scanner of the home ministry. The ministry has found instances in its probe when the NGOs allegedly violated provisions of the FCRA.
“We are fully cooperating with the home ministry probe so far and responding to all queries,” said Setalvad.
Sources said SCPPL didn’t have any mandatory sanction for receiving such a funding under the FRCA from the home ministry. The funding came from Ford Foundation.
Sources said during the inspection of accounts of SCPPL, the home ministry found that an amount of Rs 50 lakh was transferred to it by Setalvad's Sabrang Trust which also was in violation of FCRA norms.
The government has already put Ford Foundation under the prior permission category of the home ministry.
In April, the government ordered that funds from the Ford Foundation should not be released by any bank to any Indian NGO without mandatory permission from the home ministry.
It may not be the first instance when the ministry might ask the CBI to probe FCRA cases against NGOs. The ministry has earlier also referred cases of serious violation of the FCRA to the CBI.