India’s Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI has started a preliminary inquiry into the allegations of financial embezzlement and violation of norms at the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), which includes charges that the corporation made excess and undue payments to filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and other film directors.
The move comes on the complaint of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
The CBI’s anti-corruption branch in a letter dated October 23, 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, an official of the probe agency said on Thursday.
The NFDC was constituted under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in 1975. It 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, when Smriti Irani was the Information and Broadcasting Minister.
Gupta re-joined the NFDC following a Delhi High Court order but the Ministry removed her again in May.
The I&B Ministry, however, dropped the charges against her, when Irani was replaced as minister by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Meanwhile, Kashyap has denied the allegations. The filmmaker took to his official Twitter account to state he has received no notice from the authorities.
“The reportage so far on the alleged “investigation” is false,” he wrote. “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.”