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FCRA violations: Roerich Trust allegedly received foreign funds

Foreign donations continued to pour in for the trust inspite of rider imposed by ministry of home affairs in the wake of complaints of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violation.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2012 21:07 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times

More trouble seems to be brewing up for International Roerich Memorial Trust, Kullu. Foreign donations continued to pour in for the trust inspite of rider imposed by ministry of home affairs in the wake of complaints of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violation.

International Roerich Memorial Trust in 2007 had sought permission for foreign donations under the section 6(1A) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976 from the ministry of home affairs. The information accessed by Hindustan Times reveals that Union ministry of home affairs had rejected the request owing to the incomplete documents furnished by the trust functionary. The ministry of home affairs had advised the chief functionary of the Trust “not to accept any foreign contribution till the central government grants permission under the FCRA act". Ministry of home affairs had categorically stated that contravention of the provisions off the FCRA act is cognizable offence punishable with fine.

The auditors in their report clearly mentioned that Trust is subject to applicability of FCRA and is required to obtain permission of the central government under the FCRA for receiving foreign donations. Board of trustees in its meeting repeatedly stressed for the obtaining permission under the FCRA act the matter was brought to the notice of management in the various meeting but to no avail.

Documents procured by the Hindustan Times reveal that IMRT managers in the Kullu continued to accept foreign donations in violation of FCRA act. Apart from the donations received from individuals and art lovers across the country, foreign donations continued to pout at Kullu. The records of IMRT suggest that donations were received last year also. The donations were made by foreign contributors both in cash and Kind. To keep donations flowing, “Committee of the Friends of the IMRT” has been formed in Russia in co-ordination with the curator of IRMT Naggar Alina Adamkova. Sources said that committee had been generously donating money and articles to the IMRT through the curator Adamakova.

Raising apprehension about the donations being received at the Trust life time Trustee Shakti Singh Chandel had written states secretary tourism and culture for ordering an inquiry into the the funds recived at IMRT. The trustee had sought to debar the curator from directly receiving donations and instead suggested that all donations though Russia should be routed through the incharge of cultural wing of the Russian Embassy in Delhi after due clearances.

Chandel had further approached the director general of police DS Manhas complaining about the DCRA violations at IRMT Kullu. In his compliant letter Chandel had sought action against the curator for violating FCRA. But the state police has yet not acted on compliant. “It is ironical that till far that the police is yet to act upon the complaint. Shortly, I will directly approach Ministry of home affairs at Delhui,” says Chandel who last year raised hue and cry over the functioning of the trust that compelled the state government to order an inquiry into the IMRT that is jointly managed by the Russians and the Indians.

The renowned actress Devika Rani Roerich widow of Dr Svetoslav Roerich set up a Trust in Kullu with an aim of preserving, extending and administering artistic works and activities established by members of the Roerich family, including that of Nicholas Roerich his wife Helena Roerich and their sons Dr George and Dr Svetoslav Roerich. The trust set up by Devika Rani included twelve members with chief minister Himachal Pradesh being the President.

First Published: Feb 25, 2012 21:05 IST