The CBI since 5 this morning has been carrying out searches at the residence of noted lawyer Indira Jaising and officer of Lawyers Collective, an NGO run by her husband Anand Grover and another office in Mumbai.
Jaisingh along with her husband has been charged with violating a law on foreign funding. The CBI has earlier filed a case against Anand Grover and his NGO Lawyers Collective for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). The investigation agency’s First Information Report, filed on the basis of a complaint by the Ministry of Home Affairs does not name Indira Jaising as an accused but the ministry reportedly referred to her alleged role.
The CBI has accused Jaising of allegedly receiving remuneration of Rs 96.60 lakh from Lawyers Collective. While her husband Grover and his NGO have been accused of misusing foreign contributions and spending the funds outside India. The Home Ministry complaint alleged that the group had received over 32 crores between 2006 and 2014. Jaising in her defence disputed all the allegations and said she along with her husband was being targeted for the human rights work they have done over the years.
The allegation has been strongly condemned by Lawyers Collective. The ministry has alleged that Additional Solicitor General (ASG) is paid by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India and carries out very sensitive and high-level work, including, inter-alia, giving advice to the government in legal matters, appearing in the Supreme Court and High Courts on its behalf and representing it in reference made by the president to the apex court.
It has accused Jaising of violating the Foreign Contribution Regulation) Act (FCRA) by not seeking clearances from the government for receiving foreign contributions in the form of remuneration from the organization and accepting foreign hospitality while visiting a foreign country.
As far as Jaisingh’s husband Grover’s NGA, Lawyers Collective is concerned, the ministry in its complaint against it said the NGO received foreign aid worth over Rs 32.39 crore between 2006-07 and 2014-15 wherein irregularities were committed that amounted to violation of the FCRA, 2010. Lately, a PIL was also filed by a voluntary organization of advocates called Lawyers Collective that has claimed that the funds collected by Lawyers Collective were misutilised for activities against the nation.
This was followed by a notice issued by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta who had asked them to file their responses on the allegations including that the money received by the NGO was used to influence political activities. Meanwhile, all allegations of misutilisation of any funds have been disputed by Jaising, Grover and his NGO Lawyers Collective.