Court Notice To Centre On Plea Over Gandhis’ NGOs Foreign Funding License

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The Delhi High Court today issued a notice to the Central government on the two pleas moved by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust.These two organisations have challenged the cancellation of their Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence by the Central Government.Justice Jyoti Singh issued the notice to the Central Government and sought its response to the pleas.The matter has been listed on August 23 for a final hearing.Their licence has been cancelled over the alleged violation.These organisations are associated with the Gandhi family. Congress leader Sonia Gandhi heads these and Rahul Gandhi is a member. Former PM Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram are members of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.The licences were cancelled after an investigation was carried out by an inter-ministerial committee.The investigation was started to probe the allegations made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from the embassy of China.After the allegation, the Central government constituted a committee to investigate the alleged violations under different laws like PMLA, FCRA and IT Act.The pleas were filed in January 2023.The matter kept adjourning due to one or another reason. The bench also expressed its displeasure on the fact that it took eight hearings for the issuance of notice on the plea.The matter was taken up today. The counsel for the central government sought a pass over but the bench said it will issue a notice in the matter.”This is a regular first appeal (RFA). It can’t be dismissed in limine. Eight dates have gone by, let’s be a little practical, Eight dates to do this,” the bench said while expressing its displeasure.Earlier also, adjournments were sought on four dates on the ground that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was busy in other courts.