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Petition against Lawyers Collective in SC based on Centre's 2016 orders

Petition against Lawyers Collective in SC based on Centre's 2016 orders

New Delhi, May 8 (PTI) The petition on which activist advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover as also their NGO, Lawyers Collective, were Wednesday issued notices by the Supreme Court was based on the 2016 orders of the Centre by which the NGO's licence was suspended and later cancelled for alleged FCRA violation.The two orders -- of May 31 and November 27, 2016 -- were passed by the competent authority in the Ministry of Home Affairs on a complaint filed in 2015 accusing Jaising and the NGO of misutilising the funds received under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. Licence of the NGO was cancelled permanently by the government for alleged violation of FCRA in November 2016 and Jaising had then termed the centre's action as "preposterous".The Home Ministry had taken cognisance of the letter written by Jaipur resident Raj Kumar Sharma who in August 2015 had sought inquiry against Lawyers Collective for receiving huge sums as donations from foreign donors like Ford Foundation and Open Society Foundation of George Soros.The letter had claimed that the Lawyers Collective, an NGO run by Indira Jaising and her husband Anand Grover, received Rs 28.5 crore foreign donation since 2006, in which Rs.7.2 crore was received from Ford Foundation USA, Rs.4.1 crore was from highly controversial, 'regime change' US-based donor i.e. Open Society Foundation.It had stated that the data collected through RTI shows that Lawyers Collective started receiving money from controversial regime change organisation like 'Lavi Strauss foundation', USA and 'Foundation open society institute', Switzerland after Jaising in 2008-09 became Additional Solicitor General of India.After the notice was issued by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Jaising, Grover and Lawyers Collective said they were "deeply disturbed by the turn of events".They said they are being "victimised" as Jaising took up the cause of a sacked woman employee of the apex court who had levelled allegations against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment which was rejected by an In-House Inquiry Committee on May 6. PTI RKS SKV SA