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CBI Initiates Case Against Rights Activist Harsh Mander and His NGO in FCRA Violation Investigation

IndiaCBI Initiates Case Against Rights Activist Harsh Mander and His NGO in FCRA Violation Investigation

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated legal proceedings against human rights activist Harsh Mander and his non-governmental organization (NGO) for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). On Friday, the CBI conducted searches at Mander’s premises in connection with the case, according to officials.

The Home Ministry had previously highlighted that Section 3 of the FCRA prohibits the acceptance of foreign contributions by individuals in specific roles, including correspondents, columnists, cartoonists, editors, owners, printers, and publishers of registered newspapers. Harsh Mander, however, has been actively writing columns and articles in newspapers and web portals, leading to concerns of potential FCRA violations.

The CBI has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against both Harsh Mander and the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) for violating various provisions of the FCRA.

Harsh Mander, a former member of the National Advisory Council led by Sonia Gandhi during the UPA government, is the founder of the NGO Aman Biradari. The Home Ministry clarified that Aman Biradari is a non-FCRA organization.

The allegations against CES suggest that it acted as a conduit for transferring foreign contributions to non-FCRA associations. The Home Ministry pointed out a specific report published by the Centre for Equity Studies in collaboration with Delhi Research Group and ‘Karwan-E-Mohabbat’ in June 2020. ‘Karwan-e Mohabbat’ is a campaign run under the non-FCRA association Aman Biradari Trust (ABT), closely associated with the Centre for Equity Studies and Harsh Mander, as per the Home Ministry’s claims.

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