Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Posted at: Jul 11, 2019, 9:56 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2019, 5:38 PM (IST)

CBI raids lawyers Anand Grover, Indira Jaising in foreign funding case

CBI raids lawyers Anand Grover, Indira Jaising in foreign funding case
Supreme Court lawyer Indra Jai Singh at her residence during a raid by CBI, in New Delhi on Thursday, July 11, 2019. PTI

New Delhi, July 11

The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches at the offices and homes of two top human rights lawyers on Thursday in an investigation into foreign funding for their NGO, prompting criticism they were being targeted for political reasons.

The CBI conducted searches relating to a case filed against the non-profit Lawyers Collective and its president, Anand Grover, for allegedly violating laws on foreign funds, a police official said.

In a statement issued in June, after the CBI registered a complaint against the group, Lawyers Collective said it was being targeted for taking up sensitive cases against Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and some of its leaders.

Founded in 1981 by Grover and prominent human rights lawyer Indira Jaising, Lawyers Collective is among the thousands of foreign-funded charities hit by increased scrutiny by the Narendra Modi government.

"The searches are ongoing," said the CBI official, who declined to be named.

Grover told Reuters CBI conducted raids at his offices and homes in Delhi and Mumbai.

The CBI alleges that Lawyers Collective and Grover have violated the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), aside from other wrongdoing, which the group has denied.

Jaising, Grover's wife and a former senior government law officer, is not an accused in the CBI's case, but her name is mentioned in the preliminary police investigation report.

"Mr Grover and I are being targeted for the human rights work we have done over the years," Jaising told reporters on Thursday.

Leaders from opposition groups, including the regional Aam Aadmi Party and Trinamool Congress, said the raids were examples of a government "vendetta."

"This government is harassing citizens and all voices of opposition," Trinamool Congress spokesman Derek O'Brien said.

Since Modi took office in 2014, more than 10,000 civil society groups in India have had their licences to receive overseas donations cancelled or suspended for violations of the FCRA.

CBI has filed an FIR against Grover and the NGO on the basis of a complaint from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) mover suspected discrepancies in using foreign fund.  A former additional solicitor general, Jaising has not been named in the FIR, although the ministry’s complaint bears her name.

The ministry claims that the supposed irregularities pertain to the period between 2006-07 and 2014-15, when the NGO, received foreign fund of over Rs 32.39 crore. Agencies  


All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On