The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday carried out searches at the residence of senior Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover in the national capital and Mumbai over alleged violation of the FCRA norms, officials said. The lawyers have previously denied all allegations.
The agency's actions comes almost a month after it registered a case against the Mumbai-based NGO 'Lawyers Collective' and its President Anand Grover for alleged violation of Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act (FCRA), criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust on June 13, after receiving a Home Ministry report in this regard.
According to LiveLaw, the complaint has been filed by Anil Kumar Dhasmana, an MHA Under Secretary. The chief allegation is that the lawyer couple reportedly diverted the foreign contributions received by their NGO for "activities not mentioned in the objects of the association." They are also facing allegations that the funds received were put to personal use, unconnected to the aims of their organisation.
In May, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court by Lawyers Voice, a voluntary organisation of lawyers, which alleged that the NGO was being used for "activities against the nation." A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had issued notices to both Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, seeking a response. It was also in May that an in-house panel of Supreme Court judges had given the Chief Justice a clean chit in an alleged case of sexual harassment at the workplace. Indira Jaising had called for the disclosure of the findings of the inquiry committee.
The senior counsel had alleged that she and the NGO were being victimised for flagging procedural lapses in the sexual harassment case against the CJI.
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 Home Ministry report said that the NGO was registered for carrying out social activities and it received Rs 32.39 crore between 2006-07 and 2014-15. It is being reported that some of Indira Jaising's foreign travels during this time – when she served as Additional Solicitor General – came from the Lawyer's Collective..
However, the violation of the FCRA was noticed in 2010, the complaint said.
(With IANS input)