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CBI files chargesheet against Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand over FCRA violation

The agency said the company run by the social activist and her husband had accepted foreign funding without the required clearances.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and their company, Sabrang Communications and Publishing, citing violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act provisions, PTI reported on Tuesday. CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said the chargesheet was filed on Saturday.

In July 2015, the agency had registered a case against the social activist for receiving funds from beneficiaries based abroad without the appropriate clearances from the Union Home Ministry. The licence of another organisation run by Setalvad, Sabrang Trust, was cancelled in June after the ministry found that the NGO had violated the foreign funding Act on six counts. She has been part of a campaign that demands justice for victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

In December 2016, 20,000 NGOs were barred from receiving foreign funding for allegedly violating provisions of the Act. Opposition leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision. They had urged the Centre to refrain from indulging in vindictive politics by “selectively” cancelling the foreign funding licences of NGOs that are critical of government policies. A number of civil society organisations and activists, too, had accused the government of using the Act to suppress dissenting voices.

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