Nine activists demand enquiry into Akshaya Patra

November 24, 2020 10:49 pm | Updated 10:50 pm IST - Bengaluru

Nine activists have written to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka urging the State government to initiate an enquiry against the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which has come under fire over alleged ‘serious governance issues’.

They have demanded that the government constitute an impartial enquiry and said that if the charges of diversion of government resources and misuse are found to be true, criminal proceedings should be initiated against the organisation.

‘Cancel contracts’

Sylvia Karpagam, a public health doctor, said that pending enquiry, all contracts of the foundation should be cancelled and disbursal of government resources or funds under any scheme should not be permitted.

The foundation is a subsidiary of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and is one of the NGOs roped in by the State government to provide midday meals to lakhs of students.

Concerns raised

Whistleblowers had raised concerns over the alleged diversion and misappropriation of funds, among other governance issues. Non-executive independent trustees had differences with the temple trustees on the board of the foundation over the audit into these allegations. This had led to three independent trustees, including Infosys co-founder Mohandas Pai, resigning from the board.

Following these allegations, the foundation had constituted a two-member committee headed by former Central Vigilance Commissioner K.V. Chowdary to look into the allegations. However, activists said a mere internal audit would serve no purpose and amounts to conflict of interest.

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