CBI books Madurai-based NGO for FCRA violations

Action based on a complaint lodged in 2014 by the Ministry of Home Affairs against Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns

The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a case against the Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC), a Madurai-based NGO, and its program unit the People’s Watch, on charges of violations of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976.

Acting on a complaint dated July 22, 2014, lodged by A.K. Sinha, the then Director in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the CBI’s Economic Offences Wing booked the NGO for alleged FCRA violations that surfaced during two inspections conducted by MHA officials in Madurai in May 2012 and 2014.

During the inspections for the period 2005-06 to 2010-11 and 2011-12 to 2012-13, it was found that after suspension of FCRA registration, the CPSC had withdrawn ₹28 lakh on July 23, 2012. It also withdrew ₹1.69 crore from 2008-09 to May 2012 which did not tally with available vouchers. People’s Watch was functioning like a separate entity and communicating directly to the foreign contribution grantee organisations and most of the bills/receipts were in the name of Peoples’ Watch.

The First Information Report said that CPSC had withdrawn foreign contribution to the tune of ₹44.54 lakh during 2011-12 and 2012-13 on 240 occasions. They used foreign contribution for a purpose other than what it was meant for. The allegations made in the complaint prima facie disclosed that CPSC, represented by its trustees, People’s Watch, represented by its Executive Director, and other unknown persons had committed offences punishable under various provisions of the FCRA.

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