CBI raids civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad’s Mumbai residence, office

Mumnbai(web team): CBI raided the office and the residence of civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai, on Tuesday morning. The raid was reportedly conducted by 16 CBI officials.

Teesta told news channel NDTV that she didn’t understand the rationale behind the raid despite offering full cooperation.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had registered a case on July 8 against Teesta for allegedly receiving funds from foreign entities without prior permission from the government.

CBI officers raid Teesta Setalvad’s office in Mumbai.

The raid began early today morning. Officers raid Teesta Setalvad’s residence as well.

The FIR also named Teesta’s husband Javed Anand, businessman Gulam Mohammed Peshimam and Sabrang Communications and Publishing. The CBI is currently examining Sabrang’s documents and bank account details.

Government had given temporary relief to Setalvad’s two NGOs, which allegedly violated Foreign Currency Regulation Act, by allowing her more time to reply to its showcause notices. Sabarang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), run by Teesta and her husband Javed Anand, were served the notices nearly a month ago following an on-site inspection of their records and books of accounts carried out by Home Ministry officials in April this year.

Setalvad is known for championing the cause of 2002 post-Godhra riot victims in Gujarat.

During the probe under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Home Ministry officials found that Teesta and her husband were running a magazine “Communalism Combat” as co-editors as well as printer and publisher of their company Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL) and allegedly received foreign contribution. Under FCRA, no foreign contribution shall be accepted by any correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper.

CJP, which has been fighting cases for victims of 2002 Gujarat riots, had received a total foreign contribution of around Rs 1.18 crore from 2008-09 to 2013-14. According to the notice, more than 80% or nearly Rs 95 lakh was spent for legal aid. While the entity was registered for ‘Educational and Economic’ purposes, it received foreign contribution for activities such as ‘Legal Aid’ which is covered under purpose ‘Social’. Hence, it violated FCRA rules, they contended.

With agency (ANI/PTI) inputs.