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CBI Raids Peace Activist Harsh Mander’s Home, CES Office for Alleged FCRA Violation

This is not the first Central agency to go after the activist, writer and columnist. Earlier the ED and Delhi Police have also registered cases against his think-tank.
This is not the first Central agency to go after the activist, writer and columnist. Earlier the ED and Delhi Police have also registered cases against his think-tank.

Image Courtesy: Twitter

New Delhi: Noted human rights and peace activist, Harsh Mander, who has been crusading for communal harmony, and his organisation, Centre of Equity Studies (CES), seems to be facing renewed targeting by Central agencies.

On Friday morning, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the office CES as well as the residence of Mander for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or FCRA, according to people in the know.

Mander has been among the various dissenting voices against Central government policies with regard to the poor and the marginalised sections as well as a vocal critic of hate politics.

According to a report in, several people were being questioned in this connection.

 “We are conducting searches at his residence and at the office premises of the Centre for Equity Studies (CES),” a source confirmed to The Indian Express.

CBI sleuths first arrived at the CES office in Adhchini area in South Delhi and then at the former bureaucrat’s home in Vasant Kunj, said the report.

Recall that in June, the Home Ministry had suspended the FCRA licence of CES for 180 days.

Mander has been a regular contributor to various newspapers and websites, such as The Indian Express, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and digital news sites, such The WireThe Quint and Scroll.

The government has alleged that Mander accepted foreign contributions amounting to Rs 12,64,671 from 2011-’12 to 2017-’18 as “professional receipts/ payments from the FCRA account of the association [Centre for Equity Studies]”, which, the Home Ministry said, was a violation of FCRA.

Read Also: Plea in SC to Quash MHA’s Refusal to Renew FCRA Licenses of NGOs, and its Restrictions on Their Accepting Foreign Funds

Mander, who was member of the National Advisory Council to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, also leads an NGO called Aman Biradari, against whom a complaint was filed by the Home Ministry, on the basis of which an FIR was filed.

This is not the first Central agency to target Mander. In 2021, the Enforcement Directorate or ED had raided premises associated with Mander for alleged money laundering.

The ED’s case is based on another case registered by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against the CES. Mander is a director of CES, said the IE report.

Also, the Delhi Police has registered two cases against CES, one under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act and another over alleged financial irregularities, on the basis of a complaint by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights with regard to two homes for poor and orphaned children run by Mander.

Recall that the Narendra Modi government has suspended FCRA licences of several think-tanks and NGOs in the recent past, including the Centre for Policy Research, Oxfam India, Amnesty India, Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa (which was later restored), Greenpeace India and close to 6,000 NGOs.

The FCRA requires organisations that do charitable work to register with the government or obtain prior permission for the receipt of foreign funds. All the targeted organisations maintain that they have been “fully compliant” with the law of the land.

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