Noted lawyer, NGO booked for FCRA violations
Anand Grover is known for his social activism and is former Additional Solicitor General and Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising’s husband.Updated: Jun 19, 2019 00:08 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed a case against noted lawyer Anand Grover and his Mumbai-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) -- Lawyers Collective -- for alleged violating the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The law governs the use of foreign donations.
Grover is known for his social activism and is former Additional Solicitor General and Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising’s husband. He has been booked as the NGO’s president along with its unidentified office-bearers.
The NGO was first issued a notice over the alleged FCRA violations in 2016. The case was filed a month after the Union home ministry, which implements the FCRA, wrote to the CBI on May 16 seeking a probe into the alleged violations.
In its letter to the CBI, the ministry said the NGO used parts of its foreign contributions for personal travel, agitations, lobbying in violation of the FCRA. The ministry added the NGO was given an opportunity to explain the violations but its explanation “was not found satisfactory”.
The NGO denied the charges and accused the government of political vendetta. “For nearly two and half years, the CBI, functioning under an NDA [National Democratic Alliance] regime, did not think it fit to register any criminal cases against the Lawyers Collective and/or its office bearers since there was no criminality involved. There has been no change in circumstances or material on record since 2016 and hence the question arises what has changed between 2016 and 2019,’’ the NGO said in a statement.
It added there is no material to show that any of the provisions invoked has any basis. “The FIR [first information report] has been registered after the petition was filed by Lawyers Voice in the Supreme Court. The Lawyers Voice comprises lawyers from the [ruling] BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] .”
First Published: Jun 19, 2019 00:08 IST