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Chargesheet filed against Home Ministry officials, NGO representatives in FCRA bribery case, major CBI action

New DelhiThe Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed chargesheets against Home Ministry officials, NGO representatives and others. They have been arrested for allegedly taking bribes to clear foreign donations to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in violation of the country’s foreign exchange law. This information was given by the authorities on Monday. The central agency filed the chargesheet before a special court on Saturday, officials said. He said the chargesheet was filed on May 11 within 60 days of his arrest.

This is the crime of the arrested accused
Officials said that if the CBI had missed the 60-day deadline, the arrested accused would have been eligible for legal bail from the special court. It was alleged that several officials were involved in bribery to get foreign donations to NGOs for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) rules. He said the agency had not included the names of the two arrested accused in the chargesheet as the investigation was still on.

The agency had on May 10 registered a case against 36 people on a complaint by the home ministry. These include seven officials from the Home Ministry’s Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) division, representatives of NGOs and some intermediaries. The next day, the agency arrested 40 people, including six ministry officials, after conducting raids at 40 locations across the country.

Get to know the people caught
The arrested persons include senior Home Ministry official Pramod Kumar Bhasin, Accounts Officer Alok Ranjan, Accountant Raj Kumar, Assistant Director Shahid Khan, Home Ministry officials Mohammad Ghazanfar Ali and Tushar Kanti Rai. Some of them were working in the FCRA division of the ministry, while others had worked before. He said that eight persons including representatives of NGOs have also been detained during the operation.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has written a letter to the CBI
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in a letter to the CBI on March 29, had said that at least three FCRA clearance networks were operating with the connivance of some government officials. Officials said the three networks, which have links to government officials, were allegedly charging “speed money” and “troubleshooting fees” to expedite FCRA clearance and resolve issues related to the application process for new registrations and renewals. Were

Bhalla also apprised CBI Director Subodh Kumar Jaiswal of the government’s approval for an in-depth probe into the alleged fraud and requested him to take necessary action. After informing Home Minister Amit Shah about the incident, the Home Secretary had sent a letter to the CBI chief directing immediate and stern action against those involved.

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