CBI launches inquiry on Indian Red Cross Society in five States

The five societies are facing various charges from misappropriation of funds to unscrupulous practices

March 13, 2023 09:14 pm | Updated 09:14 pm IST - New Delhi

The CBI launched an inquiry into allegations of corruption against the health non-profit Indian Red Cross Society in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. File

The CBI launched an inquiry into allegations of corruption against the health non-profit Indian Red Cross Society in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched an inquiry into allegations of corruption that have surfaced against the health non-profit Indian Red Cross Society and its regional branches in five States after the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare raised the issue with the investigating agency.

The five States are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is the Chairman of the Red Cross Society. Governors in each State head the regional State-wise chapters.

Official sources in the Ministry said that serious allegations in the functioning of the State branch of Tamil Nadu had surfaced and the Governor of the State had requested the national headquarters in July 2020 for these to be investigated by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

“The accused chairman and other office bearers obtained a stay from the [Madras] High Court against investigation. This stay was vacated in June last year. The chairman has now resigned and the Governor has dissolved the State Managing Committee,” the source said.

In November last year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached properties worth ₹3.37 crore belonging to Tamil Nadu office-bearers, including chairman Harish L. Metha, former treasurer Senthil Nathan and former general secretary M.S.M. Nasruddin. The alleged corruption had occurred from 2011 to 2020.

In Kerala, a case of misappropriation of funds in 2019, allegedly by the chairman and vice-chairman, led to the National Headquarters recommending dissolution of the Managing Committee.

“Red Cross Society and its regional branches at State and district level are rife with corruption. For instance, at a district level, Collectors are heading the Society but they would hardly pay attention to the workings of the Society leading to the managing Committees indulging in corrupt activities,” a senior official from the Health Ministry told The Hindu.

“In Karnataka, the former chairman had registered a trust in the name of the Red Cross. This would lead to the chairman asking for funds in donation and diverting it to the trust. After an FIR was registered, this trust stands dissolved,” sources said.

The Indian Red Cross Society is affiliated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, a Geneva-based humanitarian organisation. “The Red Cross Society enjoys a special advantage and makes a good income through global donations. It is at the forefront of organising medical and blood donation camps. It is an NGO that is recognised by the government and unscrupulous politically connected elements are trying to make money out of this,” the sources said.

In A&N Islands, the general secretary held on to his position for a long time without proper elections. The Lieutenant Governor of A&N later ordered for his removal.

Similarly, in Assam, a delay in the election for State Managing Committee and a land dispute led the managing body members to visit Assam and apprise the Governor of the issues pertaining to the branch. “The High Court ordered for election and now a new State Managing Committee is in place,” sources added.

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.