CBI has filed an FIR against noted lawyer Anand Grover and the NGO Lawyers Collective, alleging violation of FCRA (Foreign Contributions Registration Act) regulations. Both Anand Grover and Lawyers Collective have been at the forefront of many human rights cases, including the fight against Section 377.
Earlier, in June 2016, Modi Govt had suspended the FCRA license of Lawyers Collective, alleging discrepancies in the funds received by the NGO between 2006-07 and 2013-14. The Home Ministry had also raised objections to the payments received by Indira Jaising from Lawyers Collective, as well as over the travel expenses of Mr. Grover. Later, in December 2016, the government had cancelled the FCRA licence of Lawyers Collective.
The Lawyers Collective has expressed shock and outrage over the actions of the CBI, and said that it is being targeted because “its office bearers had taken up sensitive cases against the leading figures of the BJP and the Government of India, including Mr. Amit Shah, the present Home Minister, in the Sorabbudin case, amongst others.”
In a statement released later in the day yesterday, Lawyers Collective said that the FIR was filed after a petition was filed in the Supreme Court by the the head of the Legal Cell of the BJP in Delhi. It further said that its officer bearers were being personally targeted for speaking up in defence of human rights, secularism and independence of the judiciary in all fora, particularly in their capacity as Senior Lawyers in Court