Supreme Court allows Christian evangelist group to use bank accounts for limited purposes in violation of FCRA case

The Supreme Court recently permitted a Christian evangelist group to continue to use bank accounts frozen allegedly owing to a violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA), for smooth functioning of the 103 educational institutions and over a dozen primary health centres by it.

A bench comprising Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, nonetheless, put a rider that the petitioners, Operation Mobilization India and others, would not only maintain proper and complete statements of accounts but would also get the same audited by a Chartered Accountant and furnish quarterly statements to the Investigating Officer or to the trial court on regular basis.

In the order dated April 5, 2024, the court made as absolute its interim order passed on April 7, 2021. It ordered the pending proceedings before all other forums to carry on in accordance with law where it would be open for all the parties concerned to raise all such contentions as may be available under law.

The bench further clarified that they have not made any observations on merits and the above order has been passed only for smooth functioning of the 103 educational institutions and more than a dozen primary health centres run by the petitioners.

The complaint was registered on September 29, 2016 under Sections 409, 420, 477(A) and Section 37 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010. The probe was taken up by the Economic Offences Wing (CID), Telangana. Furthermore, the challenge to the FIR was dismissed by the Supreme Court on September 12, 2017 directing the investigation to be completed as expeditiously as possible.

In addition, a writ petition was filed before the Telangana High Court asking directions for investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A counter affidavit was lodged by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, CBI, ACB, Hyderabad declining that the CBI had any role in the investigation for reasons. 

Later on November 21, 2020 after over four years of the registration of the First Information Report, the CID Telangana State froze the accounts of the petitioners. This eventually compelled the petitioners to approach the high court which dismissed the challenge to the freezing of the accounts. Before the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Home Affairs filed an affidavit stating that the CID Telangana should be permitted to continue the investigation.

Appearing for the petitioner, Senior advocate Shyam contended that they would be satisfied if the liberty granted by the order to the petitioners to continue using their accounts for payment of salary and institutional expenses and would continue to maintain proper and complete statement of accounts for the same are continued, the petitioners would contest the pending proceedings before the High Courts and other Courts on their own merits and would avail such remedies as may be available under law.

Meanwhile, the Telangana government accepted the fact that the petitioner-organisation was actually running 103 institutions all over the country in 18 States and also more than a dozen primary health centres. The counsel also affirmed that they were not interested in shutting down the said institutions, both educational and health centres, but insisted that the statement of accounts must be properly maintained and duly audited by chartered accountants and the same should be made available to the investigating agency.

Subsequently, the court permitted the petitioners to use their accounts to the limited extent of salary and institutional expenses but declined to consider contempt petition.

Crime Today News | Judiciary

Source | Powered by Yes Mom Hosting

Crime Today News

Welcome to Crime Today News, your trusted source for timely and unbiased news coverage. Since our inception in 2014, we have been dedicated to delivering the latest updates to our valued readers and viewers across Telangana.

Related Posts