CBI files chargesheet against activist Teesta Setalvad in FCRA violation case

New Delhi: A chargesheet has been filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and a company run by them for alleged violation of foreign funding rules.

The chargesheet, which has listed the firm Sabrang Communications and Publishing Private Limited and a man named Sushma Raman, was filed on Saturday in a court in Mumbai, CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said on Tuesday.

A file photo of Teesta Setalvad. AFP

A file photo of Teesta Setalvad. AFP

The probe agency had in July 2015 registered a case against Setalvad, who was at the forefront of the campaign for 2002 Gujarat riot victims, and others for alleged violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) in receiving funds from abroad without taking prior permission from the Home Ministry.

The chargesheet has been filed under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy) along with FCRA 2010 and FCRA 1976, the spokesperson said.

Gaur said that Special Court, Mumbai has taken cognisance of the offences and directed the accused persons for appearance before the Court on 3 February 2017.

Gaur said it was alleged in the FIR that Mumbai-based Private Limited Company (Sabrang Communication and Publishing Limited) was engaged in publishing books, reports, pamphlets, journals, bulletin covering various aspects of Indian and the world's socio-economics and political issues and creating social awareness.

"The two then Directors were columnists and writing articles in newspapers. It was also alleged that being the columnist, they were not eligible to accept foreign contributions in accordance with Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

"But they allegedly received foreign contribution amounting to USD 2.90 lakh from a USA-based foundation in the name of their company and thereby, violated the sections of FCRA," Gaur said.

He said it was further alleged that the said private company was engaged in publication and thereby the said company and its representatives were not authorised to receive foreign contribution without prior permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Spokesperson said on receipt of foreign contribution from a USA-based foundation without prior permission, they allegedly violated the Sections of FCRA.

"The said company did not maintain an exclusive bank account for receipt of foreign contribution," Gaur said in a statement.

The agency said chargesheet was filed after sanction was obtained from the ministry.

Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 09:49 AM

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