Central Bureau of Investigation has initiated an enquiry into allegations of financial embezzlement and non-compliance with prescribed norms against National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). According to reports, a letter served to NFDC director (finance) N Shaikh by CBI anti-corruption division, states that a probe has been set up to investigate financial irregularities in firms like Kashyap Films, Sun TV, UFO Movies and individuals Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee.
CBI Sources: On a complaint by I&B ministry, CBI registers preliminary enquiry against Anurag Kashyap films, other films companies and unnamed officials of National Film Development Corporation of India in an alleged financial irregularities matter
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
Charges against Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee
The case pertains to allegations of undue payments made by NFDC to Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee, keeping at stake the established norms of the organisation.
The payments amount Rs 40 lakhs to UFO movies and Rs 62 lakhs to Anurag Kashyap. Reports suggest that transferred amount to Kashyap was for the 2010 movie The girl in Yellow Boots. Another payment of Rs 1.5 crores, also under scrutiny, was made for the movie The Lunchbox. CBI alleges that payments to Kashyap were in contravention to norms of the corporation. NFDC can not fund movies if it has not co-produced them.
Dibakar Banerjee, along with Kashyap, is alleged to have received money into personal accounts, which were supposed to be received by joint accounts.
CBI has directed NFDC to provide documents for the probe at earnest. It has particularly asked for IT statements of both directors.
Other charges comprise of allotment of advertisements to channels, not chosen by DAVP or The Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity, which is a nodal agency to undertake multi-media advertising and publicity for various Ministries and Departments of Government of India.
“Bill payments were made without telecast certificates from third-party monitoring agency as prescribed in EMA (Electronic Media Advertisement) Policy resulting in an overpayment of 38,41,800 to M/s Sun TV Network Pvt Ltd,” the CBI letter to N Shaikh reads. NFDC is also charged for over-payment to firms like UFO.
Denial of Charges
While there has been no denial of charges by Dibakar Banerjee, Kashyap has denied the charges fully. He has categorically denied charges, of receiving funds into personal accounts. Similarly, UFO movies have also denied charges of excess payments.
The reportage so far on the alleged “investigation” is false, There is no such notice that has been served to me. Only questions i have been getting is from the media . If anyone has seen the copy of such a letter please send me the screenshot .
— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) November 22, 2018
Information and Broadcasting ministry in 1975 had constituted NFDC. Smriti Irani had demanded investigation against NFDC, during her tenure at Ministry of I&B. It is according to observations made by her officials, that CBI is constituting probe.