Custodial interrogation of Deepak Talwar sought in foreign funding case

New Delhi:  The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking custodial interrogation of corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar in connection with a Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) case.

A Division Bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Anu Malhotra asked NGO Advantage India and its secretary to file response on the plea.

The court listed the matter for next hearing on February 27.

The CBI has registered a case against Delhi-based NGO Advantage India and its former President Deepak Talwar and four others for misusing Rs 90.72 crore donations from two defence and aviation firms - MBDA and Airbus SAS.

Talwar is accused of siphoning off these funds received in Advantage India.

The CBI, in its case, alleged that the France-based Airbus SAS and UK-based missile manufacturer MBDA International gave about Rs 90.72 crore to the NGO for initiatives related to healthcare and education but the money was later found to have been used for purchasing properties.

The NGO is accused of flouting several provisions of FCRA, including "false statements, false accounts, claimed bogus expenses, furnished concocted vouchers, purchase of three luxury cars worth over Rs 84 lakh, payment made by NGO for foreign visits of Talwar, funds used for making payment related to business activities of the founder of Advantage India".

Talwar, who is in judicial custody, was deported from Dubai on January 30 and was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case.

He has also been accused by the ED of acting as a middleman in negotiations to favour foreign private airlines in the matter of seat-sharing on Air India's profitable routes.

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