The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday (July 11, 2019) carried out searches at homes and offices of Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in connection with an alleged violation of foreign funding rules for their NGO Lawyers Collective.
The CBI had registered an FIR against Lawyers Collective
(LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010
. The FIR was registered on a complaint filed by Anil Kumar Dhasmana, an Under Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), on May 15, 2019, alleging that the NGO diverted foreign contributions received by them for activities not mentioned in the objects of association and that funds were used for personal expenses unrelated to these objects.
In a statement issued on June 18, 2019, the organisation and its Trustees, including founding members Anand Grover and Indira Jaising, expressed shock and outrage at the CBI move. They alleged that the FIR had no basis in fact and in law. “It has been filed to target the organisation and its office bearers to silence them for the cases and issues that they have taken up in the past and continue to take up since 2016. LC is seeking competent advice and will defend themselves in accordance with law in every forum,”
it said. The organization stated that the FCRA license was cancelled in 2016 on "illegal and arbitrary" grounds as a vindictive measure for taking up sensitive cases against the government. The cancellation has been challenged in Bombay High Court, where the matter is still pending. In May, the Supreme Court Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India had issued notice to advocates Indira Jaising, Anand Grover, their NGO Lawyers' Collective on a PIL seeking court-monitored SIT probe into the alleged Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) violation. Senior Advocate Jaising, responding to this, had claimed that she is being victimized for being vocal against illegalities in probe into sexual harassment
allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.