After the CBI lodged a corruption case against a Home Ministry under secretary for allegedly trading FCRA information with NGOs and arbitrarily issuing notices to some of them to extract money, sources said Thursday that the ministry could initiate a departmental inquiry into alleged irregularities in its Foreigners Division that deals with FCRA violation by NGOs.
A top Home Ministry official said the ministry was waiting for a report from CBI, following which a departmental inquiry would be initiated to examine the whole issue.
Sources said the Ministry wants to ensure that all sensitive files and documents pertaining to Foreigners Division are accounted for and are in safe custody, especially secret documents from Intelligence Bureau on the activities of NGOs.
- FCRA: Govt eases penalties for violating law, NGOs can now pay fines
- MHA renews FCRA licence of Teesta Setalvad’s NGO
- Zakir Naik’s Foundation: FCRA licence was renewed even as MHA flagged NGO
- Arrested MHA under secretary suspended
- Missing Teesta file: CBI detains MHA official Anand Joshi
- Activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO will need MHA nod for foreign funds
Meanwhile, sources also revealed that CBI has recovered a file on NGO CARE India from the residence of the accused Anand Joshi. An email and phone calls to CARE India yielded no response. A CBI source confirmed that files related to CARE India and some other NGOs have been recovered from Joshi’s house.
Joshi was shunted out of the Home Ministry’s Foreigners Division in January, reportedly over allegations that he was involved in dubious activities. Later, he was allegedly found to have been in illegal possession of a file pertaining to activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Sabrang Trust.
Hours before he was to appear before CBI Wednesday, he disappeared from his Indirapuram home, leaving behind a note for his wife in which he claimed he had been subjected to “mental harassment” in recent months. On Tuesday, Joshi had claimed he had not removed any file from the Foreigners Division. He accused Additional Secretary B K Prasad, who heads the division, of pressuring him because he had refused to accept money.