Modi Govt cancels FCRA licence of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for violation of foreign funding law

The decision was made after an inter-ministerial committee set up by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) in July 2020 conducted investigations.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, October 23, 2022, 10:40 AM IST
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Modi Govt cancels FCRA licence of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation for violation of foreign funding law | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central government has cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), a non-government organisation associated with the Gandhi family, for alleged violations of the foreign funding law, the government sources said on Sunday.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the registration of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) based on recommendations of an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into violation of various legal provisions of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

The committee formed by the MHA in July 2020 has pointed its findings about the violations of various FCRA norms that have resulted in the cancellation of the registration of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, which was established in 1991, the officer privy to the development said.

Inquiry started against RGF in July 2020

An inquiry started against the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in July 2020 when the MHA constituted an inter-ministerial committee headed by an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer to investigate three Gandhi family foundations-- Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust-- for possible violations of the money laundering act, Income Tax act and FCRA.

The committee comprised officers from the MHA, Ministry of Finance as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and was mandated to investigate if the trusts, run by the Gandhi family and other Congress leaders, manipulated any documents while filing income tax or misused and laundered money received from foreign countries.

According to the official website of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the organisation has worked on various issues in the sectors of health, science and technology, women and children and disability support from 1991 to 2009. The foundation decided to focus on education in 2010, the website mentioned.

Soon after the cancellation of its FCRA licensce registration, the officer said, a written notice has been dispatched to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and its office-bearers.

Sonia Gandhi and other Congress leaders are on the board of trustees

Former Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Among other trustees of the NGO are former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, and members of Parliament Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation came under the scanner in July 2020, when the MHA set up an inter-ministerial committee headed by an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer to investigate three Gandhi family foundations-- Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust-- for any possible violations of the money laundering act, Income Tax act and FCRA.

The committee comprised officers from the Union home and finance ministries as well as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It was mandated to investigate if these trusts run by the Gandhi family and other Congress leaders manipulated any documents while filing income tax or misused and laundered money received from foreign countries.

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