Delhi High Court Refuses to Quash FIR Against Man Running NGO With PM Modi’s Name

Published on: April 17, 19:33 IST

Delhi High Court has declined to quash a First Information Report (FIR) filed against Pawan Pandey, who allegedly operated an NGO named ‘Modi Charitable Trust’, leveraging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname.

Initiated by the special cell of the Delhi Police in September 2023, the FIR stemmed from a complaint lodged by a deputy secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs. It accused Pandey of misleading the public and garnering donations/funds by misrepresenting the PM’s name and image.

Justice Amit Mahajan, presiding over a single-judge bench, upheld the FIR in an order dated March 13. The court highlighted “specific allegations” against Pandey, emphasizing his purported collection of donations by exploiting the Prime Minister’s surname and image.

Notably, the court underscored the use of PM Modi’s picture in advertisements alongside Pandey’s, despite the petitioner’s surname not being ‘MODI’. This, coupled with the dissemination of these advertisements on national news channels and YouTube, formed the crux of the allegations.

The High Court emphasized the statutory right and duty of the police to investigate all facets of a purported cognizable offence. Given the preliminary stage of the investigation, Justice Mahajan deemed it inappropriate to quash the FIR under Section 482 of the CrPC, asserting that the allegations warranted thorough scrutiny.

The ruling signifies the court’s stance on allowing investigative agencies to proceed with inquiries into alleged cognizable offences without premature intervention, setting a precedent for the ongoing case involving Pandey and his NGO.

As legal proceedings continue, the decision underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in charitable endeavors, particularly in cases involving public trust and representation.

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