In what can be described as vendetta, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday conducted raids across the residences and offices of Supreme Court advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in Delhi and Mumbai.
The CBI had accused them of violating a law on foreign funding for their NGO Lawyers Collective. The case involves contributions to their NGO when Indira Jaising was Additional Solicitor General between 2009 and 2014, the CBI alleges. The expenses of her foreign trips at the time were from the NGO without home ministry approval, according to the agency.
“I and Anand Grover are being targeted because of human rights work that we have been doing,” said Indira Jaising on CBI raids, said Supreme Court advocate, Indira Jaising on CBI raid at her residence in Delhi.
The investigating agency had filed an FIR in June and had named Senior Advocate Anand Grover, a trustee and founder-director of the NGO, as an accused.
The FIR is based on a complaint filed by Anil Kumar Dhasmana, an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which was filed on 15 May 2019, alleging that the NGO diverted foreign contributions received by them for activities not mentioned in the objects of association.
Lawyers Collective has expressed "shock and outrage" at the FIR. They have stated that the FCRA license was cancelled in 2016 on "illegal and arbitrary” grounds as a vindictive measure for taking up cases in defence of human rights, secularism and independence of judiciary.
Indira Jaisingh had stated earlier that this was victimisation for taking up the issue of the procedure adopted in relation to the allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India by a former employee of the Supreme Court.
Anand Grover is known fight cases for the protection of rights of LGBT community, HIV/AIDs patients. He is currently and acting member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
Jaising and Grover have history of fighting cases which have helped everyday Indians. Just a before the CBI’s FIR against her partner Grover and Lawyers Collective, Jaising got bail from the Gauhati high court for Kargil war veteran Sanaullah. He had been declared a “foreign national” by Assam’s foreigner tribunal as part of the country’s National Register of Citizens programme.
(This is a developing story. More details awaited.)