The CBI on Thursday conducted searches against senior lawyer Indira Jaising, her husband Anand Grover and his NGO Lawyers Collective at three locations in Mumbai and two locations in Delhi in connection with a foreign exchange violation case.
The raids that began in the morning continued till late in the evening and the CBI claimed to have recovered “certain incriminating documents during the searches”.
Out of the three premises searched in Mumbai, two were official premises to the Lawyers Collective and one was a residential unit. In the national capital, searches were conducted at the Nizamuddin residence and office of Jaising, the office of the NGO in Jangpura, sources said. Jaising alleged she and her husband were being “targeted” by the CBI due to their work in the field of human rights. Jaising is not named as an accused in the FIR but her alleged role has been mentioned in the complaint of the ministry.
The CBI had registered a case on June 13 this year on a complaint from the Union Home Ministry against Mumbai-based NGO Lawyers Collective and its president Anand Grover, unknown office bearers/functionaries of the said NGO and unknown private individuals and public servants. While Jaising has not been named as an accused in the FIR, she has been alleged to have travelled on a number of occasions from the foreign contribution received by the NGO.
It was 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 an intent to cheat the Government of India in the matter of misusing / diverting Foreign Contribution received by the NGO.
It was further alleged that in pursuance of the said conspiracy, Foreign Contribution to the tune of about Rs.32.39 crore was received in the account of the said NGO and the accused persons mis-utilized sizable amount of the funds in contravention of the provisions of Foreign Exchange Regulation ACT (FERA), 2010.
Accusing the government of “gross abuse of power” over the CBI searches, a group of opposition MPs on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “halt such act of coercion and intimidation”.
“This, latest in a long line of coercion and intimidation of Ms Jaising and Mr Grover, is nothing short of a brute show of intimidation as well as gross abuse of power,” the letter signed by Congress, TMC, SP, CPI and CPI(M) MPs said.
The duo, well known for their “pioneering work” in the field of human rights, had fully cooperated with authorities, the letter claimed.
“Despite the show of cooperation, the raids that have taken place today are shocking. We strongly urge the government and authorities to halt such act of coercion and intimidation,” added the letter.