After I-T survey at Bengaluru office, IPSMF denies receiving foreign funds

“The IT officials were courteous during their survey work. The Foundation believes that its affairs are entirely in order,” Ninan stated.

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According to its website, IPSMF was registered on July 1, 2015 as a public charitable trust in Bengaluru. Representational image.

After the Income Tax department’s “survey” at its Bengaluru office, the Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF) has denied reports of receiving foreign funds.

In a statement issued on behalf of IPSMF’s Board of Trustees, Chairman TN Ninan said, “Some media reporting on the IT survey has linked it to foreign funding and the funding of political parties. We wish to make it clear that the Foundation has received no foreign funds at any stage, and has funded only media entities. The Foundation believes in its mission of supporting independent and public-spirited media, and intends to continue its work.”

Also read: I-T dept conducts raids, surveys on unrecognised political parties, NGOs

He said the foundation’s staff were “cooperative and answered all questions put to them on a wide range of matters”.

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“The officials took statements from three senior staff members. All laptops and mobile phones were taken for cloning data in them and returned last night,” he added.

According to the statement, a team of income tax officials came for a “survey” to IPSMF’s Bengaluru office on Wednesday, September 7.

Also read: Explained: What did think tank CPR do to trigger an I-T survey?

“They stayed till 4.30 this morning (September 9), going through the papers and records of the Foundation and asking questions… All staff other than the CEO, Sunil Rajshekhar, were allowed to go home at various stages in the evening/night of September 7, and asked to return the following morning for further questioning. The CEO slept in the office for a few hours on the intervening night of September 7-8,” Ninan said.

“The IT officials were courteous during their survey work. The Foundation believes that its affairs are entirely in order,” Ninan stated.

According to its website, IPSMF was registered on July 1, 2015 as a public charitable trust in Bengaluru.

Also read: Oxfam India: I-T survey team took all data by cloning server, mobile phones

“The Foundation provides financial and other assistance to organisations creating and distributing public-interest information to the public at large using digital media, social media, mass media or any other media. The Foundation has been registered under Section 12AA (a) of the IT Act, 1961 and has been granted approval under section 80G (5) (vi) of the IT Act 1961,” it said.

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