Teesta Setalvad: MHA undersecretary goes missing before CBI interrogation

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MHA undersecretary Anand Joshi.
MHA undersecretary Anand Joshi.

A corruption case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against undersecretary in Union home ministry Anand Joshi has dirtied the walls within the ministry.

He is said to have a file relating to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) against activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Sabrang Trust.

The CBI summoned the undersecretary on 11 May, but on 10 May he said he was being targeted by his seniors for refusing to treat Ford Foundation with care.

According to media reports, Joshi was offered crores of rupees to give a clean chit to Ford Foundation. When he refused, additional secretary BK Prasad began harassing him to remove the foundation from the blacklist. Even allegations of corruption were levelled against him when he still refused.

Meanwhile, Prasad said, “Joshi is talking rubbish. The truth will come out when CBI probes the matter.” Prasad is also the official inquiring how certain documents in Ishrat Jahan case went missing.

Joshi’s family members, under the CBI scanner, demanded action against Prasad of pressurising Joshi of favouring certain organisations

An email and phone calls to Ford Foundation got no reply. Joshi, the CBI said, “allegedly demanded gratification from some of these organisations as well as certain private companies”. The CBI claimed to have recovered Rs 7.5 lakh and certain documents, pertaining to the MHA and the I&B Ministry. The CBI on 10 May filed a case against Joshi under Section 120-B of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

He took the file on Sabrang Trust in December and January, whose registration under FCRA was suspended in September 2015 for six months, alleged the CBI.