NGO run by Teesta loses FCRA licence

Teesta Setalvad

NEW DELHI (TIP): Activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO will not be able to collect foreign funds from now, with the Centre on June 16 cancelling its licence on violation of various rules.

The move comes nine months after Sabrang Trust’s licence was suspended on a slew of charges of violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

The trust said it will explore all legal options to challenge the government order. This order comes a fortnight after the Ministry of Home Affairs suspended the licence of Indira Jaising-led Lawyers Collective.

Indira, Teesta’s lawyer, tweeted: “Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight, Teesta.”

Thursday’s order cited six reasons for barring Sabrang Trust from receiving foreign funds. It includes transfer of foreign funds to organisations that do not have permission to receive it and diverting foreign funds for personal use.

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According to the order, foreign contribution has been “frequently used” for items of “personal expenses like dining in hotels, food takeaways ordered at their residences, cakes and sweets from premium outlets, purchase of purely personal items like ear buds, wet wipes, clippers, sanitary napkins by both Teesta and Anand, which have been reimbursed to the trustees from FCRA account”.

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