Rights

CBI Raids Lawyers Indira Jaising, Anand Grover in FCRA Case

The investigating agency has accused the lawyer couple of misusing foreign contributions and spending the funds outside the country.

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday morning launched raids at the homes and offices of Supreme Court advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in Delhi and Mumbai, NDTV reported.

Officials told Indian Express that the searches have been taking place at the Nizamuddin residence and office of Jaising, office of the NGO in Jangpura and an office in Mumbai from 5 in the morning.

Jaising alleged that she and her husband were being “targeted” by the CBI due to their work in the field of human rights. “Mr Grover and I are being targeted for the human rights work that we have done over the years,” Jaising was quoted by PTI as saying.

Last month, the CBI had filed an FIR against their Mumbai-based NGO Lawyers Collective alleging violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). The FIR was filed on the basis of a complaint from the home ministry, which has alleged several discrepancies in the utilisation of foreign aid received by the NGO.

Former Additional Solicitor General Jaising is not named as an accused in the FIR but her alleged role figures in the ministry’s complaint.

The investigating agency has accused the lawyer couple of misusing foreign contributions and spending the funds outside the country.

According to the complaint of the ministry, which is now a part of the FIR, the group had received foreign aid worth over Rs 32.39 crore between 2006-07 and 2014-15, wherein irregularities were committed that amounted to a violation of the FCRA.

Based on available information and scrutiny of records of the NGO available with the MHA, prima facie violations of various provisions of the FCRA, 2010 were noticed, the ministry said.

It added that on-site inspection of books of accounts and records of the NGO was conducted from January 19-23, 2016.

Responding to the charges, the NGO had said in a statement that the FIR was solely based on proceedings under the FCRA. The MHA, in 2016, cancelled the organisation’s FCRA license, which is under challenge before the Bombay high court.

“It is obvious to us that this is victimisation on account of Ms Jaising taking up the issue of the procedure adopted in relation to allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India by a former employee of the Supreme Court, which Ms Jaising has done so in her capacity as a concerned citizen, a senior member of the bar and a women’s rights advocate, without commenting on merits of the allegations,” the press statement had said.

Late last month, several artists, writers, academics, lawyers and journalists across India had come together to show their support for NGO Lawyers Collective, calling upon the CBI and the home ministry to “desist from the unjustified and vindictive use of criminal law” against its founders Jaising and Grover.

(With PTI inputs)

This is a developing story and more details will be added when they become available.