It's gross abuse of power: Opposition asks PM Modi to stop intimidation of Indira Jaising, Anand Grover
Hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out raids at properties belonging to senior lawyers Anand Grover and Indira Jaising in Delhi and Mumbai, in an alleged violation of FCRA norms, the Opposition MPs in Rajya Sabha wrote to PM Narendra Modi, condemning the raids on senior advocates.
Terming the raids as "latest in a long line of coercion and intimidation", the letter stated that the action was "nothing short of a brute show of intimidation as well as a gross abuse of power".
It further said that the two who were well known for their "pioneering work" in the field of human rights had fully cooperated with authorities "ever since the criminal charges were filed against them in alleged FCRA violation cases".
"Despite this show of cooperation, the raids that have taken place today are shocking. We strongly urge the government and authorities to halt such acts of coercion and intimidation," the letter stated.
The letter was signed by MPs from the Congress, TMC, SP, CPI and CPI(M).
A group of Opposition MPs in Rajya Sabha have written to PM Narendra Modi condemning the raids on senior advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in a FCRA case, say 'it is a brute show of intimidation and gross abuse of power' pic.twitter.com/xSq1iKDf43— ANI (@ANI) July 11, 2019
The CBI Thursday searched residences and offices of human rights lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, attracting sharp reactions from politicians and activists. The agency, however, maintains that they have seized "incriminating documents".
The CBI had in June filed an FIR on the basis of a complaint forwarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), alleging that the two lawyers misused the funds received by NGO Lawyers Collective for political and personal purposes.
According to CBI, "It has been alleged in the complaint that during the year 2006 to 2014, the accused persons entered into a conspiracy in Mumbai, Delhi and other places with intent to cheat the government in the matter of misusing and diverting foreign contribution received in the Mumbai based NGO."
"It was further alleged that in pursuance of the said conspiracy, the foreign contribution to the tune of Rs 32.39 crore (approx.) was received in the account of the said NGO and the accused persons misutilised a sizable amount of the foreign contribution received in the account of the Mumbai-based NGO and thereby violated the provisions of FERA 2010," the agency added.
CBI in its FIR says that Anand Grover violated Section 11 of FCRA by utilising foreign contribution without obtaining registration or prior approval of the Central government. He used foreign contribution for personal benefits and spent it outside India which is a violation of FEMA, the agency said. 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.
Speaking outside her residence on Thursday morning, Indira Jaising denied all the allegations and said, "I and Anand Grover are being targeted because of human rights work that we have been doing."