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Charges levied by former trustees include food grain and fund diversion. Mint
Charges levied by former trustees include food grain and fund diversion. Mint

APF forms panel of new trustees to probe allegations

  • Akshaya Patra’s newly constituted board of trustees has formed a two-member committee to look into all the issues raised by the erstwhile trustees and audit committee members

The Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF) has formed a two-member committee led by its newly constituted trust board to probe serious allegations of impropriety and other charges levied by the erstwhile audit committee and others of the Bengaluru-based non governmental organization, it said on Saturday.

“Akshaya Patra’s newly constituted board of trustees has formed a two-member committee headed by former central vigilance commissioner of India, K.V. Chowdary, (now a non-executive trustee) to look into all the issues raised by the erstwhile trustees and audit committee members," the foundation said. M.S. Unni Krishnan, former managing director and chief executive officer of Thermax, also a non-executive trustee, will be part of this committee, it said.

“The committee will review the observations of the erstwhile audit committee and those in the communication received from former trustees and submit within four weeks a comprehensive report after thoroughly examining all the issues raised ." The foundation provides more than 1.8 million mid-day meals to school students across the country.

The allegations include food grain and fund diversion, missionaries overrunning the board, non-maintenance of records in related-party transactions, and gaps in governance, besides other serious charges. It was also alleged that Akshaya Patra was thwarting calls for a serious probe to unearth any wrongdoing.

The foundation reconstituted its board after the exit of four high-profile independent trustees, Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education, V. Balakrishnan, former Infosys chief financial officer, Raj Kondur, co-founder of ChrysCapital, and Abhay Jain, adviser to Manipal Education and Medical Group.

A letter by the erstwhile committee said glaring violations surfaced against the foundation, its chairman Madhu Pandit Dasa, Chanchalapathi Dasa, vice-chairman, and other associates.

The resignations, fuelled by a fallout between independent trustees and the foundation, has led to widespread speculation that questions the workings and finances at APF. Several activists urged respective state governments to order a probe as central and state governments fund a significant portion of the mid-day meal programme.


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