Teesta Setalvad, Javed Akhtar and Alyque Padamsee violate FCRA rules

In a letter addressed to the Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, the Minister of State Mullappally Ramachandran and the Home Secretary R.K.Singh, Mr. Anand Mathur, a Kolkata based activist, requested the cancellation of the FCRA permission allotted to Teesta Setalvad’s NGO – Citizens for Peace and Justice.

Contending that there were innumerable and repeated violations of the FCRA regulations, he has highlighted the following points:

“I would like to bring to your attention to violations of the FCRA rules by “Citizens for Justice and Peace” (FCRA Registration No. 083781100).

1. FCRA permission granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs states that “The bank account mentioned in your application should be used for receiving foreign contribution and no other amount should be credited to this account”.

a.) Citizens for Justice and Peace seem to have violated the above condition as according to ‘The Pioneer’ newspaper dated 25th October, 2012, a donation of Rs. 10 lakh received from The Chatwal Groups by Cheque No. 376284 dated 26/02/09 was deposited by Citizens for Justice and Peace in their FCRA Bank Account. Another donation of Rs 2 lakh received from Saurya Foundation was also deposited by Citizens for Justice and Peace in their FCRA Bank Account. Both donor entities are Indian.

2. FCRA permission granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs states that “The association cannot bring out any publication (Registered under PRB Act 1867) or act as correspondent, columnist, editor, printer or publisher of a registered news paper.”

a.) The above rule has been violated by Citizens for Justice and Peace as their Trustees, Javed Anand &TeestaSetalvad, are regular columnists for many registered Newspapers. A recent column titled ‘Making history, not repeating it’ was jointly written by Citizens for Justice and Peace Trustees Javed Anand &TeestaSetalvad in the newspaper ‘The Indian Express’ on 17th August, 2012. Herein too, TeestaSetalvad, has claimed that she is Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace and Javed Anand and TeestaSetalvad have claimed that they are co-editors of ‘Communalism Combat’ magazine.

b.) Citizens for Justice and Peace Trustees Javed Anand &TeestaSetalvad are also Editors of ‘Communalism Combat’ magazine. Javed Anand, Trustee, Citizens for Justice and Peace Trustee, is also the Printer and Publisher of ‘Communalism Combat’ magazine. This also seems to be a violation of the above mentioned rule. This information is also carried on the website of Citizens for Peace and Justice http://www.cjponline.org/aboutus.htm

c.) In addition to this several Trustees / Founder Members of Citizens for Justice and Peace are themselves Columnists and media-men. These names are Alyque Padamsee, Anil Dharkar, and Javed Akhtar. All of them have used their good offices to support the activities of Citizens for Justice and Peace. This information is also carried on the website of Citizens for Peace and Justice http://www.cjponline.org/aboutus.htm

3. FCRA permission granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs states that “the association is forbidden from getting involved in any activity of political nature”

Rule 3 (iii) of the FCRA Rules 2011 states that “any voluntary action group with objectives of a political nature or which participates in political activities” could be declared as an organisation of political nature.

The above permission & rule has been violated by Citizens for Justice and Peace as many of their activities are political in nature and they disseminate political information and opinions.

a.) For example on their website http://www.cjponline.org/ the link http://www.cjponline.org/modihatespeech.htm with title “Prosecution of Modi for Hate Speech … WHAT DID HE SAY” analyses Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches.

b.) Another link on their website http://www.cjponline.org/support.htm mentions “JOIN US NOW … We invite YOU to join us in the fight for the Rule of Law and against Hate Politics”.

In light of the above mentioned violations of the FCRA rules by Citizens for Justice and Peace, its Trustees and functionaries thereof, we request you to kindly initiate an enquiry into the matter and cancel the FCRA permission granted to Citizens for Justice and Peace immediately.”

It’s not the first time that Teesta has come under fire for unethical practices. former CBI director R K Raghavan had told the Supreme Court that the celebrated rights activist made up macabre tales of wanton killings. “Many incidents of killings and violence were cooked up, false charges were levelled against then police chief P C Pandey and false witnesses were tutored to give evidence about imaginary incidents”, he said in a report submitted before a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam.

The SIT itself, referring to the infamous Gulbarg Society case (police officer Pandey, instead of taking measures to protect people facing the wrath of rioters, has been accused of fuelling the mob), stated that the truth was that he was helping with hospitalisation of riot victims and making arrangements for police bandobast. Another report said that 22 witnesses, who had submitted identical affidavits before various courts relating to riot incidents, were questioned by the SIT which found that they had been tutored and handed over the affidavits by Setalvad and that they had not actually witnessed the riot incidents.

François Gautier

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