The CBI has initiated a preliminary inquiry into allegations of financial embezzlement, irregularities and violation of prescribed norms at the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), which includes charges that the corporation made excess and undue payments to Anurag Kashyap and other film directors.
The CBI move comes months after the government sought a probe into the allegations.
The CBI’s anti-corruption branch in a letter dated 23 October 2018, addressed to the director (finance) NFDC, had stated that a preliminary inquiry had been launched against unknown officials of the corporation, Sun TV, UFO Movies, Anurag Kashyap Films and other unknown people. The CBI had asked NFDC to furnish certain documents to help the probe.
The NFDC, constituted under the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) ministry in 1975, receives central funds and other grants to participate in film festivals and make publicity films for the government. It has been embroiled in a controversy after its managing director, Nina Lath Gupta, was sacked for allegedly favouring Sun TV networks in February 2018, when Smriti Irani was the I&B minister.
While Gupta re-joined the NFDC following a Delhi High Court order, the I&B ministry removed her again in May, even though it dropped the charges against her, when Mrs Irani was replaced as minister by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.