The Centre today told the Delhi High Court that some NGOs affiliated to
anti-graft activist Anna Hazare's team had received foreign funds, which were
utilised irregularly, but that does not warrant any criminal investigation.
In an affidavit to the bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw,
the Ministry of Home Affairs said NGOs Navjyoti Indian Foundation and India
Vision Foundation, run by Kiran Bedi, and NGO Kabir, run by Manish Sisodia, had
received foreign funds but the same was not used for any political activity or
India Against Corruption (IAC) movement.
In the affidavit, the government said "inspections were carried out in
August and also in November 2012 under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)
and FCR Rules and some irregularities were found.
"These irregularities are not serious enough at this stage to warrant a
criminal investigation. During inspection no documentary proof in the records of
the association was found to show the use of the fund in any such political
activity or in India Against Corruption (IAC) movement or agitation.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma seeking CBI
enquiry against the members of team Anna for allegedly receiving funds from
foreign organisations without government's permission and running their
agitation for Lokpal Bill.
According to the affidavit, during inspection of Kabir's account in August, some
vouchers were not supported with bills and some bills for repairing personal
vehicles were claimed from the association's accounts.
In addition, cash was disbursed to many persons without justification or record,
most of the foreign contribution has been spent on tours and travel without
approval of trustee and Sisodia has been getting salary for discharging his
duties, said the affidavit adding that Kabir's present office runs from
residential flat of Sisodia's wife.
The government said during inspection of India Vision Foundation's accounts in
November, it was found that the organisation maintained 15 bank accounts
including FCRA designated bank account and it frequently withdrew foreign
In the PIL, the petitioner had said that FCRA mandates the members to seek
permission from the Central government in order to receive any fund from any
foreign company or organisation.
The members have violated FCRA and the Centre has failed to take any action
against them, it alleged.
It also sought a direction to "Union of India to conduct CBI investigation
against team members and others and ask for an action taken report."