The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated an inquiry in the regional branches of the Red Cross Society located in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, and Karnataka after the Union Health Ministry received allegations of corruption and financial irregularities, a senior ministry official said on Monday.
“It has been noted that certain allegations have been marked against Indiian Red Cross Society and regional branches. Ministry would like to clarify that CBI inquiry has been initiated in these cases,” a ministry source said on Monday, adding that it has a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and financial irregularities.
In Kerala, a case of misappropriation of funds in 2019 allegedly by the chairman and the vice-chairman led to the national headquarters recommending that the state managing committee be dissolved.
“Now a new managing committee is in place after makeshift committee under the High court judge was made just after dissolution of state committee,” he said.
In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the General Secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar branch was holding on to his position for a long time without proper elections.
“Based on a complaint, the matter was reffered to the Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” he further said.
The ministry source further informed that approval was sought from the National Headquarters (NHQ) in July 2020 to begin a CBI probe under the Prevention of Corruption Act after serious allegations were found in the functioning of the Tamil Nadu branch by the Governor of the state.
“The accused chairman and other office bearers of the Tamil Nadu branch obtained a stay from the Honourable High Court in Chennai against an investigation by the CBI. The stay stands vacated as of June 2022, the chairman has resigned and the matter is now being investigated by the CBI,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu Governor also dissolved the state’s managing committee and replaced it with an ad hoc committee, he added.
In Karnataka, a new trust was registered in the name of the Red Cross by the former chairman of the state branch. An FIR was lodged and now the trust stands dissolved.
Further, a delay in the election of the Assam’s state managing committee and a land dispute led the managing body members to visit the state and apprise the Governor of the issues pertaining to the branch.
This report is filed by ANI news service.