Senior lawyers Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover were raided by the CBI, accusing them of violating a law on foreign funding. Raids started at around 5 am at the home of Indira Jaising in Delhi's Nizamuddin and the offices of Anand Grover's NGO Lawyers Collective in Delhi and Mumbai. The CBI had earlier filed a case against Anand Grover and Lawyers Collective for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act or the FCRA. Indira Jaising and Anand Grover are among the most prominent faces of public interest and civil rights litigation in India and have been involved in path-breaking cases linked to gender justice, gay rights, labour and health care.
The CBI on Thursday searched the residence of senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover here and in Mumbai at five locations for alleged violation of FCRA norms and claimed to have recovered incriminating documents, officials said.
Jaising accused the government of targeting the couple for the human rights work they have done.
The action came almost a month after the CBI registered a case against Mumbai-based NGO Lawyers Collective and its President Anand Grover for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act (FCRA), criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
The CBI searches, which started around 5 a.m. in both cities, followed a Home Ministry report.
Indira Jaising is not named in the CBI FIR. According to the CBI, unknown officer-bearers and functionaries of the NGO, private persons and public servants have also been made accused in the FIR.
The CBI officials said the searches took place at the residence and office of Jaising in Nizamuddin East in Delhi.
The CBI team also searched the offices of Lawyers Collective in Mumbai and residence of Grover.
A senior CBI source said during searches, they have recovered several incriminating documents supporting the travel expenses of Jaising being borne by the Lawyers Collective.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Jaising said, “Grover and I are being targeted for the human rights work that we have done over the years.”
The Home Ministry report said the NGO was registered for carrying out social activities and it received Rs 32.39 crore from 2006-07 to 2014-15.
The violation of the FCRA was noticed in 2010, the complaint said.
The CBI case says Jaising got a remuneration of Rs 96.60 lakh from Lawyers Collective to travel abroad.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Trinamool Congress condemned the CBI raids.
“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 is a clear vendetta,” Kejriwal tweeted.
“The CBI raid at the residence of Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover is yet another example of the many instances of vendetta. This government is harassing citizens and all voices of opposition. This is a Super Emergency,” Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brian said in a tweet.
More than 20 members of Parliament have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, protesting the Central Bureau Investigation’s (CBI) raids against senior lawyer Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover, who are accused of violating a law on foreign funding.
“We, the undersigned individuals strongly condemn the raids at the homes and offices of the senior advocates this morning by the CBI. The raids are being carried out in both Delhi and Mumbai. This, latest in a long line of coercion and intimidation of Ms Jaising and Mr Grover, it is nothing short of a brute show of intimidation as well as a gross abuse of power,” the letter read.
The lawmakers urged the government to “halt such act of coercion and intimidation”. (IANS)