The Home Ministry has decided to bar senior advocate and former additional solicitor general Indira Jaising's non-profit, Lawyers Collective, from receiving foreign funds for the next six months, according to a report by The Indian Express. Jaising has decided to challenge the ministry's decision. The association – which is headed by Anand Grover, the special prosecutor in the 2G spectrum case – has been accused of flouting foreign funding regulations by accepting international aid when Jaising still held a government position.
On Thursday, when reports regarding the investigation surfaced, the organisation alleged that the government is indulging in “selective disclosure” of the details of a dispute, reported livemint. The ministry said the NGO violated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976, by "organising rallies/dharnas with political hue and colour" in 2009, 2011 and 2014 using foreign funds. “Based on the information received from various sources and the scrutiny of records of the association available with us, prima facie violations of various provisions of FCRA 2010 were noticed,” the order issued by the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry read. Jaising was additional solicitor general between July 2009 and May 2014.
The notice said the response they had received from the association on the matter was found to be unsatisfactory, and could not explain the violations. The ministry also pointed out that Jaising received remuneration from the NGO while she was already on the government payroll.
The NGO has condemned the "blatant attempt of the government of India to victimise the organisation and its officer bearers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover. This is nothing but a gross misuse of the FCRA Act which is being used to suppress any form of dissent”. Jaising is the first woman lawyer to be appointed additional solicitor general of India. Jaising and Grover have been involved in many high-profile cases, including trying to plead against the hanging of terror convict Yakub Memon. The association also represented Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai in a defamation case that was widely seen as a suit to stifle dissent against the establishment.