CBI is raiding the houses of senior lawyers Indira Jaisingh and her husband Anand Grover. The CBI had accused both of them of violating a law on foreign funding. The issue is related to their NGO Lawyers Collective. The office of Lawyers Collective in Delhi and Mumbai was also raided
Raids started at around 5 am at the home of Indira Jaising in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, the office of the NGO and another office in Mumbai. The CBI had earlier filed a case against Anand Grover and his NGO Lawyers Collective for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), reports NDTV.
Found in 1981, lawyers collective has many notable names including that of Anand Grover and Indira Jaisingh. The group provides legal aid, advocates for the rights of marginalized groups, campaigns to end discrimination against LGBTQ people, and seeks enforcement of workplace sexual harassment laws.
The complaint was filed by the Home Ministry. Though in the initial FIR filed by the investigating agency, Indira Jaising’s name wasn’t mentioned the ministry reportedly referred to her alleged role. The CBI case says Indira Jaising received a remuneration of Rs. 96.60 lakh from Lawyers Collective.
The NGO has been accused of misusing foreign contributions and for spending funds outside India. The Ministry accused that they had received over Rs. 32 crores between 2006 and 2014. Irregularities were noticed in 2010, it said.
Lawyers Collective has strongly denied the charges. Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and Lawyers Collective had issued a press statement rejecting the allegations.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned the raids.
“I strongly condemn CBI raids on well-known senior advocates @IJaising and Mr Anand Grover. Let the law take its own course but subjecting veterans who have all through their lives fought for upholding the rule of law and constitutional values are clear vendetta,” he tweeted.
The raids are currently underway, ANI reported. Jaising has, meanwhile, given a statement to the media saying she and her husband Grover are being targeted for their ‘human rights work over the years.’
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had responded on the issue a month back.
“The Indian government talks about inclusive development and commitment to basic rights and yet is targeting lawyers and activists who seek to protect the rights of the most vulnerable,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Democratic governments should not fear criticism, and should certainly not target activists for their ideology or commitment to upholding civil liberties,” she added.