Explained: What is the FCRA violation case against Indira Jaising’s NGO

The CBI has registered a case against Lawyers Collective, an NGO run by senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against Lawyers Collective, an NGO run by senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, for alleged violations of Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) on a complaint from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The case, which also mentions Grover as an accused, pertains to discrepancies in foreign contributions cited by the association in its returns filed with the MHA. In 2016, the MHA had cancelled the FCRA license of the NGO for allegedly using foreign contributions for political purposes .

In June again, the ministry had suspended Lawyers Collective s (LC) FCRA account for six months and issued a notice asking why the NGO s account should not be cancelled.

The NGO was in May this year issued Notice by the Supreme Court on alleged violations of FCRA based on a petition filed by another organisation called Lawyers Voice.

The MHA order states that Jaising, who was the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of India under the previous UPA government, had violated FCRA norms by receiving foreign funds when she was a government servant.

Large amounts of foreign contributions were found to have been spent on air travel, boarding and lodging and local travel of trusts Anand Grover and various contractual employees from different parts of the country for draft legislation meetings, dharnas and advocacy with MPs, the MHA probe reveals. These meetings, according to MHA, were conducted in connection with draft legislation of the HIV/AIDS Bill.

Lawyers Collective, according to MHA, used Rs 13 lakh out of foreign contribution in advocacy with MPs or the media to organise rallies/dharnas, draft legislation meetings in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

The MHA probe also held the use of foreign contribution for travels of Grover after he was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health in 2008 as a violation of FCRA. It also mentioned a charity dinner organised by Lawyers Collecting in New York in 2013, which was attended by Grover. MHA said all these were a violation of FCRA.