The Islamic Research Foundation, an NGO founded by controversial preacher Zakir Naik has recently revealed that it wanted to donate a sum of Rs 75 lakh to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT). Rs 50 lakh out of the total amount was transferred to the Trust and the remaining Rs 25 lakh went to a hospital in Mumbai which denied to transfer the amount to the Trust later.
After searches and investigation conducted at various IRF premises, the government source informed NIA about the found documents that clearly highlights the proof of RGCT receiving Rs 50 lakh from the NGO and was about to get the remaining amount from IRF in November 2011, but however the transaction couldn’t happen.
As per a report published by The Indian Express, IRF donated Rs 30 lakh to MH Saboo Siddiqui Maternity and General Hospital in Mumbai in November 2011. IRF then asked the hospital to donate Rs 25 lakh out of the total money to RGCT.
Authenticating the entire incident to The Indian Express, the chairman of the hospital A R Sumar said that IRF asked the hospital to transfer Rs 25 lakh to RGCT. We accepted the donation initially, but later refused to transfer the amount to the Trust, said Sumar. The entire Rs 30 lakh was utilised for hospital expenditure.
An IRF spokesperson who refused to comment of the specific allegations said that the transactions are a part of IRF charter to make donations to hospitals and other organisation involved in any social work. He further said that IRF also provide scholarships to students. In many past audits conducted by the home ministry, the IRF was alleged in many violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) including non-declaration of foreign funding of around one million dirhams, foreign funding of Rs 10 crore in fixed deposits, re-routing of foreign funds to other end-users including the RGCT.
With board members like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the RGCT had earlier denied all allegations on its part. The Trust acknowledged the IRF donation of Rs 50 lakh, but later claimed that the funds were returned when there was a controversy over Naik’s activities lately.