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FCRA violation: SC seeks response from advocates Indira, Anand, their NGO

FCRA violation: SC seeks response from advocates Indira, Anand, their NGO
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought response from activist lawyers Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and their NGO 'Lawyers Collective' on a plea seeking investigation and lodging of FIR under various provisions of law for allegedly violating rules relating to receipt and utilisation of foreign funds.

The PIL filed by Lawyers' Voice, a voluntary organisation of advocates, alleged that the funds collected by them were misutilised for "activities against the nation".

A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also issued notice to the Ministry Home Affairs and asked its response on the allegations including that the money received by Lawyers Collective was used to "influence political activities".

The petition mentioned orders of the Centre by which the licence of Lawyers Collective was suspended in 2016 and later permanently cancelled for alleged violation of FCRA.

It alleged that Jaising remained involved with the activities of Lawyers Collective when she was Additional Solicitor General for India during the previous UPA-II regime.

The PIL alleged that Jaisingh, Grover and the Lawyers Collective violated the provisions of FCRA (Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Prevention of Corruption Act.

It has also been alleged that she violated the Advocates Act by receiving funds from foreign entity and travelling abroad on the money received for NGO while being the law officer of the country. The petition, filed through advocate Surender Kumar Gupta, sought direction to the Centre to place on record all the materials including confidential documents which led to passing of the orders.

The plea submitted that Jaising and Grover under the garb of working as activists were involved in several activities to pressurize public functionaries and others and therefore it was in public interest that the true facts of such activists should come in public domain.

Meanwhile, senior lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover on Wednesday cried foul over a Supreme Court notice to them and their NGO, Lawyers Collective, on a plea alleging FCRA violation by them, and said they are "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 of sexual harassment against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi which were rejected by an In-House Inquiry Committee on May 6.

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