India

ED raids Harsh Mander’s residence and offices

The Directorate of Recovery (ED) on Thursday raided the residences and offices of human rights activist and retired chartered accountant Harsh Mander in connection with an investigation into money laundering.

According to official sources, raids are being carried out on Mander’s residence as well as the offices of his NGOs at Vasant Kunj, Adchini and Mehrauli in South Delhi under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED team is looking into the financial and banking documents of two NGOs related to the temple, he said.

Mander, 66, who is the author of several books and a newspaper article on social justice and human rights, left for Germany on Thursday morning with his wife. It is learned that he went to that country on a scholarship.

The ED’s case is based on an FIR lodged last February by the Financial Crimes Branch of the Delhi Police against the Center for Equity Studies (CSE), which runs two children’s NGOs. Mandir is the director of this organization.

The police had registered an FIR under Sections 75 and 83 (2) of the Juvenile Offenders Act and Section 188 of the Bhadanvi Act on the basis of a complaint lodged by the director of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) against alleged violations between Umeed Aman Ghar and Khushi Rainbow Home in South Delhi set up by CSE. The police had said that the case was registered on the basis of an inspection of the houses conducted by the NCPCR team in October last year.

The NCPCR, the apex body for child rights, had alleged that the inspection of the two NGOs had uncovered several other irregularities, including violations of the Juvenile Justice Act. Mander had said the allegations were “unjustifiable”.

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