NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday cancelled the permanent registration of Sabrang Trust, run by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand with immediate effect.
The Home Ministry order issued under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010 has given details of violation by the trust and diversion of funds to activities and expenses other than what they were meant for.
It said Sabrang Trust has made direct payments of approximately Rs 12 lakh from FCRA designated account to Citi Bank and Union Bank of India on account of credit cards belonging to Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand. “The cards are issued in the name of the individuals and the above mentioned payments of the foreign contribution shall be treated to have been used for personal gain,” it said.
The ministry also said, “the foreign contribution has been frequently used for items of personal expenses, for example, dining in hotels, food takeaway ordered at their residence, cakes and sweets from premium outlets, purchase of purely personal items like ear buds, wet wipes, nail clippers, sanitary napkins by both Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, which have been reimbursed to the trustees from the FCRA account.”
It also charged that Sabrang Trust has spent more than 50% of the foreign contribution on administrative expenditure during 2010-11 (64.23%) and 2011-12 (55.14%) without obtaining prior approval of the government which is in violation of Section 8 (1) (b) of FCRA.
The ministry, pointing out another violation by Teesta’s trust, said that Rs 50 lakh was spent on Sabrang Communications and Publishing Limited which is owned by Teesta and published a magazine called Communalism Combat.