The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed an FIR against a non-government organization (NGO) – Advantage India, its former vice-president Deepak Talwar, and four others. The case was registered on a complaint from Ministry of Home Affairs under violation of Foreign Contribution of Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010 for alleged misuse of CSR funds amounting to Rs 90.72 crore, received from a leading European missile manufacturer MBDA and aviation major Airbus.
The case has been registered on the charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery, making a false statement before Authority, use of forged documents and attempt to cheat U/s 120-B, 199, 468, 471 & 511 r/w 417 of IPC and 33, 35, 37 of FCRA Act, 2010.
Searches were conducted on various locations in Delhi by the CBI on Friday including offices and residences associated with the NGO and other accused. CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said, “The funds were allegedly received mainly from a foreign based company to the tune of Rs 90.72 crore (approx.) in the bank accounts of a New Delhi based private firm/ NGO registered under the foreign contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 for carrying out social welfare activities in the field of education.”
The agency said that about Rs 100 crore was given to the NGO by France-based Airbus SAS and UK-based MBDA International for initiatives related to healthcare and education. But this fund was allegedly diverted by the NGO Advantage India run by Deepak Talwar and his family. Agency also said that it is the matter of investigation as to why the huge funds were donated to the NGO by defence and aviation firms.
Sources alleged that Talwar is known for his proximity to politicians, journalists, and other officials. He is also under the scanner for meeting former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha for around 63 times at his residence in 15 months, in 2014. The Income Tax Department had found various financial irregularities and also conducted searches at the NGO’s premises in June 2016 and also submitted a report to the home ministry last April.
According to the report, the NGO had shown the purchases of mobile medical units (MMUs) from Accordis Healthcare Private Limited but suspicion was raised over the bogus expenses and over-pricing of the MMUs by Accordis. These MMUs were allegedly purchased with the CSR funds, also the non-existent addresses were written on the invoices, bank statements, and vouchers of Accordis. Accordis and its then managing director Raman Kapoor and representative Sunil Khandelwal were also accused in the FIR filed by the CBI.