Court orders FIR against Bedi for misuse of funds

New Delhi: In double whammy for Kiran Bedi, a key member of Team Anna, a Delhi court on Saturday ordered lodging of an FIR against her for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for her NGOs and rejected her complaint seeking further probe into Commonwealth Games-related graft cases.

The court refused to entertain a complaint filed by Bedi and others including yoga guru Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal, another key Team Anna member, for a further probe in CWG graft cases.

The same judge also ordered registration of an FIR against her in the afternoon after taking note of a complaint of a Delhi-based lawyer Devinder Singh Chauhan who alleged she "looted" various paramilitary forces and police organisations in the name of imparting free computer training under her trust`s banner.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Amit Bansal ordered the crime branch of Delhi police to register an FIR against Bedi on the complaint of Chauhan.

"The application is disposed off with the direction to the DCP crime branch to register an FIR," the ACMM said, adding "the complainant will submit all related documents and annexures (in support of his allegations) duly signed and attested within 24 hours."

The court, while ordering registration of the FIR, did not heed to contentions of Delhi police that the complainant lawyer had no ground and if there was any misappropriation of funds, the donors, who gave money to Bedi`s NGOs India Vision Foundation and Navjyoti Foundation, should have moved the complaint.

Chauhan, in his complaint, alleged Bedi received donations of more than Rs 50 lakh from Microsoft for imparting free computer training to kids and families of personnel of BSF, CISF, ITBP, CRPF and other state police organisations under the banner of her trust `India Vision Foundation`.

"Kiran Bedi got permission of four community centres by misleading undertaking that she will not charge any fee from students out of these courses but contrary to the undertaking, she is charging Rs 15,000 per student and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), despite receiving various complaints, is not acting against Bedi," he said.

The complainant alleged Bedi misused the names of various government organisations, including banks, for showing them as donors to get other donations. It was also alleged that Bedi`s NGOs received Rs 6,000 per month for each centre from Vedanta Foundation for giving facilities such as land and electricity.

However, such facilities were being provided by police organisations, the complaint said. "Neither Kiran Bedi nor any of her associates disclosed this fact to Vedanta that they are illegally charging Rs 6,000 for each centre for the expenses rent of the building and charges of electricity. In order to cheat Vedanta, Bedi entered into a `donation agreement` for illegally sharing of the amount received from the centres of BSF, CISF, UP Police and others," he alleged.

The complainant said that "instead of imparting free training or distributing free computers, Bedi in collusion with some unknown persons cheated Vedanta Foundation and made a plan to cheat the kids of cops and various paramilitary forces and police and for the purpose Bedi planned to collect Rs 20,000 per month per training centre.

"For the purpose of siphoning money for herself, Kiran Bedi entered into a donation agreement with Vedanta according to which Rs 6,000 out of the total money of Rs 20,000 was to be paid by Vedanta to her two trusts (India Vision Foundation and Navjyoti Foundation) on the false ground that Kiran Bedi had arranged for the land and electricity for the said centre (training centre) for running their activities," he said.

He said Microsoft discontinued their fundings to her trust after it came to know about the "cheating and fraud." Chauhan also alleged Bedi and other key members of Team Anna "dishonestly" diverted donations received by India Against Corruption (IAC) to another trust `Public Cause Research Foundation` (PCRF) to take illegal benefits of tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act.

"They are illegally laundering the money and donations in PCRF account which are actually the fund of IAC and other organisations," the complainant alleged.

He charged "some of her associates are instrumental in the foreign funding of Kabir, an NGO, and had shown false and concocted expenditures in order to cheat the common man." 

The complainant also referred to the inflated travel bills alleging Bedi had misused her position by raising invoices for full fare air tickets and received money whereas such tickets had been bought by her only at 25 per cent of the price since she is a recipient of President`s medal.

Chauhan said Bedi, as the Principal of Police Training College, had purchased a large number of computers at "highly inflated price" of Rs 50,000 each whereas the actual value was less than Rs 20,000. "The matter was ordered to be inquired into. However, the said files are yet to be approved by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, which is pending in his office for the last six years," he said.

Chauhan claimed Bedi is getting huge money from abroad as donation to her two trusts and it needs to be probed by the Enforcement Directorate. "In her two trusts, Bedi also inflated all expenses abnormally and fake invoices of such expenses are accounted for and thereafter huge money is taken by Bedi in cash for her personal use," he alleged.

He said he had earlier approached Delhi police to investigate the matter but nothing has been done by them so far. He alleged Bedi is liable to be prosecuted for various offences including sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 477 A (falsification of accounts) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).