Our Trust papers are open to scrutiny: Louise

Khurshid’s wife files case against TV channel

Updated - November 29, 2021 01:15 pm IST

Published - October 13, 2012 04:35 pm IST - New Delhi

A day after Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s wife, Louise Khurshid, filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against the TV Today group, she launched a frontal attack on the media group for airing a programme alleging that their Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust has siphoned off lakhs of rupees meant for physically challenged people.

She also hit out at India against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal for publicising these “baseless allegations” and demanding Mr. Khurshid’s resignation. Ms. Khurshid said she would also file cases against the TV Today group in Mumbai and in Farrukhabad: in 16 other districts of Uttar Pradesh, too, cases would be filed.

Describing the stories run by the TV Today group on its Hindi and English channels as “false, malicious and baseless,” Ms. Khurshid, Project Director of the Trust, said all their papers “were open to scrutiny.”

She stressed that on September 17, 2012, she herself had written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister asking him to conduct an enquiry “so that the truth is revealed and it is established that the Trust has not forged any signatures of any officers of the State of U.P.,” as was alleged in the programmes. Would she have done that, she asked, had she been guilty?

The stories aired thus far have suggested that the Trust, which received Rs. 71.5 lakh from the Union Ministry of Social Justice for 2009-10 camps, misused the funds intended for equipment for the physically challenged, that signatures of officers concerned were forged and that a report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General questioned the manner in which the money was used.

Answering these charges, Ms. Khurshid said she had all the bills, proof that camps were held, and utilisation certificates to dispute the allegations. She also checked with the CAG’s office and discovered that the Social Justice Ministry had not answered its queries, that the report being referred to was just a draft and could not be considered a final report until the Trust’s responses were taken on board.

On Monday, Ms. Khurshid’s answers will be submitted to the CAG. She also pointed out that 34 camps were held in 17 districts in U.P. in 2009-10; at the first camp in each district, an assessment was made of what would be required and at the second, the Trust representatives distributed the equipment. In all, 2,353 tricycles, wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids, walking sticks for the blind etc, were handed out, she said, but the TV channel had “tarnished the work of the entire Trust by taking video clips of three individuals, the veracity of whose claims is not established … If we had done a fraud on such a mass scale, wouldn’t they have found thousands of people [who did not get the equipment]?” She also pointed out that while the Social Justice Ministry had given the Trust Rs. 71.5 lakh, of which 95 per cent was spent on the equipment, it had actually spent Rs. 77.87 lakh, mobilising the rest through local donations.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.