Govt panel to probe violations by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

Govt panel to probe violations by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has set up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the various violations of legal provisions by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

The committee will coordinate investigations into violation of provisions like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Income Tax Act and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by these foundations, a Home Ministry official said.

The official said that a Special Director of Enforcement Directorate will head the committee.

The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation was established on June 21, 1991. The foundation works on a range of issues, including literacy, health, disability, empowerment of the underprivileged, livelihood and natural resource management. Its current focus areas are education, disability and natural resource management.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram are members of the board.

The Centre’s move followed recent allegations launched by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Congress and the Gandhi family claiming that China had funded the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

Last month, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, citing some documentary proof, sought an explanation from the Congress to explain why the Chinese Embassy donated about Rs 90 lakh to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

It is alleged that the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China are donors to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

A petition has also been filed before the Supreme Court to seek a probe into the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Congress and the Communist Party of China signed in 2008.