The Central Bureau of Investigation carried out searches at the homes and offices of Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising and husband Anand Grover on Thursday. The searches were conducted in connection with the violation of foreign funding rules for their NGO Lawyers Collective. The searches were conducted at the Mumbai and Delhi offices of the NGO, as mentioned by officials. However, no further details about other locations have been divulged.
Anand Grover has been booked by the CBI for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) alleged several discrepancies in the utilisation of the foreign funds.
The ministry alleged that Jaising as the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) from 2009 to 2014 had received remunerations of Rs 96.60 lakh from foreign contributors. It also mentioned that her foreign travels as ASG were funded by Lawyers Collective without prior approval of the ministry.
The ministry added that the ASG is funded by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India and carries out very sensitive and high-level work. It allegations state that Jaising violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by "not seeking clearances from the government for receiving foreign contributions in the form of remuneration from the organisation and accepting foreign hospitality while visiting a foreign country".
The searches comes after the Supreme Court issued notices to the former ASG, her husband and the NGO in May after hearing a petition by Lawyer's Voice that sought the status of the investigations in the alleged funding violation. The CBI booked Grover, and unidentified office-bearers of the organisation. While the MHA complaint mentioned allegations against her, there are no complaints against Jaising. The MHA's complaint further states that the NGO had allegedly received foreign aid worth more than Rs 32.39 crore between 2006-07 and 2014-15.