Ford Foundation offered me bribe, claims MHA official

A Ministry of Home Affairs official, who is under the CBI scanner for allegedly indulging in corrupt practices and arbitrarily issuing notices to many NGOs, registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), claimed to The Hindu on Tuesday that he was offered a bribe of Rs. 250 crore by U.S.-based donor Ford Foundation.

The CBI is also looking into the details of three “media” companies floated by his wife in 2012-13.

Anand Joshi, an under secretary posted with the MHA, alleged that when he turned down the bribe, he was shunted out from the Ministry.

“Ford Foundation was indulging in anti-national activities and when I turned down the bribe offer given by the personal assistant of one Mrs. Ramdas, I was given marching orders. My seniors asked me why I misbehaved with Ford Foundation people? Government wanted to remove Ford from the list but I put my foot down,” Mr. Joshi said over phone.

‘Baseless allegation’

In an e-mail response, Ford Foundation, New York said, “This is a baseless allegation, and we reject it completely and unequivocally.”

As first reported by The Hindu, the official had come under the scanner after he walked away with the files pertaining to the alleged FCRA violations by social activist Teesta Setalvad’s two NGOs, Sabrang Trust and Centre for Justice and Peace (CJP) in March this year.

He was transferred from the FCRA division of MHA on January 1.

That the files had gone missing was noticed in March this year when the MHA wanted to take a decision to cancel the FCRA registration of one of Ms. Setalvad’s NGOs, Sabrang Trust. “The file was extracted from him and restored in the division.”

As per investigations by the CBI, three companies were floated in the name of Minakshi Sharma, Mr. Joshi’s wife. Two companies — Sreejak Outdoor Media Private Limited and Sreejak Radio Media Private Limited — are registered at the same address in Mayur Vihar. The third company — Sreejak Media Private Limited — is also registered in Delhi.

Mr. Joshi said these were legitimate companies and involved in media monitoring of hoardings and technical work.

On Tuesday, the CBI searched his bank locker and seized jewellery and cash worth Rs. 2.5 lakh.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 1:15:09 PM |

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