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CBI questions Under Secretary-level officials of Home Ministry in NGO fraud case

New Delhi, May 15, 2022- In a latest development in connection with the illegal gratification case in which 14, including six Ministry of Home Affairs officials were arrested, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned an Under Secretary-level official of the department.

He was summoned to join the probe after a raid was conducted at his house. A source said that he is posted with the FCRA unit. His statement was recorded on Saturday at the CBI’s headquarters.

The accused arrested by the federal probe agency were allegedly facilitating illegal clearances to Non-Government Organisations (NGO) in registration and renewal in lieu of bribes.

The CBI had on Wednesday arrested 14 persons, including six MHA officials following raids at 40 different places across the nation.

The CBI had recovered cash Rs 3.21 crore and several incriminating documents, mobile phones, etc., during the raid.

The raids were conducted in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Manipur.

After conducting searches, the CBI lodged a case against 36 accused, including seven public servants of the FCRA Division of MHA and NIC and middlemen, representatives of various NGOs on the allegations that some officials of the FCRA Division in conspiracy with the promoters, representatives of different NGOs and middlemen were indulging in corrupt activities for getting backdoor FCRA registration and renewal to NGOs.

They had been doing this illegally with an object to continue receiving donations despite not fulfilling the prescribed norms. The public servants were impersonating themselves as officers posted in the FCRA Division and were indulging in said practices and obtaining bribes from the NGOs for facilitating them for their registration and renewal of registration under FCRA and for other related works.

During investigation, two accused were caught while delivering and accepting the bribe amount of Rs 4 lakh on behalf of a Senior Accountant of MHA. It was alleged that the delivery of bribe was done through a hawala operator and a close associate of said public servant at Avadi (Tamil Nadu).

The arrested accused are being produced before the Competent Court.  (Agency)

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