Home ministry official held on graft charge suspended

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Union home ministry under-secretary Anand Joshi, arrested by the CBI on graft charge, has been placed under suspension, an official source said on Wednesday.

Joshi had gone missing from his residence in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh after summons from the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was arrested on May 15 from west Delhi.

Earlier, home ministry sources had said that Joshi, recently posted in the Foreigners Division, had access to files related to Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) and was under the scanner for several months.

He was reported to the CBI for allegedly taking bribes to favour certain non-governmental organisations.

Joshi was also accused of other illegal activities, including arbitrary issuance of notices to a large number of non-governmental organisations and societies registered under the FCRA who had been receiving significant foreign contributions.

The official was also accused of being responsible for some files related to Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Sabrang Trust going missing from the ministry a few months back. The files were later allegedly traced to the officer and restored.

Joshi along with some unknown people has been booked on charge of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Joshi, however, had denied the charge of giving clean chits to several NGOs.

In September 2015, Sabrang Trust’s licence was suspended by the government for alleged violations of FCRA rules, including misuse of funds, the source said.