New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) Monday initiated a CBI inquiry against regional branches of the Indian Red Cross Society in 5 states/Union territories over allegations of corruption and financial irregularities.
The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) — a voluntary humanitarian organisation — was established under the Indian Red Cross Society Act and incorporated under Parliament Act XV of 1920. The President of India is the president and the Union health minister is the chairman of the society.
The states and Union territories where action has been taken against the regional IRCS units are Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, Karnataka and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
A senior ministry official said: “Serious allegations in the functioning of the state branch were found by the Governor of Tamil Nadu and requested the National Headquarters (NHQ) in July 2020 for approval under Prevention of Corruption Act to enable CBI to investigate.”
The official added that the “accused chairman and other officebearers of Tamil Nadu state branch obtained stay from Hon’ble High Court in Chennai against investigation by CBI”.
“The stay stands vacated in June 2022. Currently, the chairman has resigned and the matter is with CBI. Governor has also dissolved the state managing committee and replaced it with adhoc committee,” the official said.
In Kerala, a case of alleged misappropriation of funds by the chairman and vice-chairman in 2019 led to the NHQ recommending the dissolution of the state managing committee, according to the official. Now, a new managing committee is in place.
In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the general secretary was removed based on a complaint from the L-G that said elections to the post had not been held for a long time. In Assam, meanwhile, a delay in the state managing committee elections caused the matter to be taken to the governor and subsequently to the high court, after which a new committee is now in place, according to the official.
In Karnataka, a trust was allegedly illegally registered in the name of the IRCS by the former chairman. The trust was dissolved following an FIR.
(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)
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