The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested 14 accused including six public servants and recovered Rs 3.21 crore (approx) in cash, for alleged "illegal clearance" of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences in lieu of bribes.
A senior CBI official said that during the search several incriminating documents, mobile phones etc were recovered at the premises of accused persons. The searches were conducted at around 40 locations including in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Manipur.
"A case was registered on Tuesday against 36 accused including seven public servants of FCRA Division of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) and middlemen, representatives of various NGOs on the allegations that some officials of FCRA Division in conspiracy with the promoters/ representatives of different NGOs, middlemen, were indulging in corrupt activities for getting backdoor FCRA registration/ renewal to NGOs illegally with an object to continue receiving donations despite not fulfilling the prescribed norms," he said.
It was further alleged that some public servants were impersonating themselves as officers posted in FCRA Division and were indulging in said practices and obtaining bribe from NGOs for facilitating them for their registration/ renewal of registration under FCRA and for other FCRA related works.
During the investigation, two accused were caught while delivering and accepting the bribe amount of Rs 4 lakh on behalf of a Senior Accountant of MHA, New Delhi, he added.
It was alleged that the delivery of bribe was done through a hawala operator and a close associate of said public servant at Avadi (Tamil Nadu).
The arrested accused are being produced before the Competent Court. The case is under investigation.
The arrested accused were identified as Parmod Kumar Bhasin, Senior Accountant in MHA, who was earlier posted in FCRA Division; Alok Ranjan, Senior AO, PAO in MHA, earlier worked in FCRA Division (MHA); Raj Kumar, Accountant in FCRA; Md. Saheed Khan, Assistant Director in FCRA; Md. Ghazanfar Ali officer of MHA, earlier posted in FCRA Division; Tushar Kanti Roy, official of FCRA in MHA.
And the arrested private persons were identified as Pawan Kumar Sharma, Ramanand Pareek, hawala operator located at Chennai, Robin Devadass of Chennai (NGO-The Social Project in Tamil Nadu), Ravi Shankar Ambastha, a resident of Rohini, Manoj Kumar B A of Hyderabad (Telangana), Santosh Kumar Prasad, Director of consultancy firm M/s Shaurya Business Solutions Private Limited having its office at Dayanand Colony in Delhi and another office at C.W.G. Village in Akshardham and Amita Chandra, Director of consultancy firm M/s Shaurya Business Solutions Private Limited having its office at Dayanand Colony, Lajpat Nagar and another office at C.W.G. Village in Akshardham, Vageesh and Chartered Accountant, working in a hospital on behalf of Ganga Orthopaedic Research & Education Foundation (GOREF).
MHA has prepared a detailed note on three FCRA-clearance networks which are reportedly operating and have linkages with government officials and are charging speed money or problem resolution money.
It has been decided, with the approval of the competent authority that CBI should immediately investigate this matter for taking necessary action, news agency ANI reported.
Image courtesy: ANI