Victimised for Fighting Cases Against Amit Shah: Indira Jaising

Indira Jaising openly condemns Home Ministry’s decision to suspend her NGO for alleged violations of FCRA norms.

3 min read
Hindi Female

Former Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) and senior advocate Indira Jaising’s NGO, Lawyers Collective is the latest in the long list of NGOs to have their foreign funding plugged. The Ministry of Home Affairs has directed that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license of the association be suspended for six months.

And Indira Jaising is not taking it lying down.

Condemning the MHA’s decision, Jaising has accused the government of political vendetta, alleging that she is being targeted for fighting cases against BJP chief Amit Shah.

On 22 November 2015, as Anand Grover, Jaising’s husband, advocate and office bearer of the Lawyers Collective appeared in the Bombay High Court against discharge of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin murder case, the notice to their NGO was also issued on the same date, claims Jaisingh.


Politically Charged or Pure Coincidence?

1. During the UPA regime, Jaising had represented activist Teesta Setalvad. She had accused the government of conspiring against Setalvad who was helping riot victims seek justice against state government officials.

2. Jaising also fought for former Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt against the Modi-Amit Shah dispensation in Gujarat post the 2002 riots.

3. Anand Grover was Yakub Memom’s defence attorney and had challenged the death sentence in the Supreme Court, leading to post-midnight hearing of the case. He had criticised the government and court order calling it a ‘tragic mistake’.

4. Jaising had also represented Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai. Securing her right to travel again, Jaising had criticised the government for mistaking their mandate in the elections as a ‘license to crush dissent’.


Home Ministry Alleges Misuse of Money

The Home Ministry in the order leaked to the media and subsequently uploaded on the website stated that the Lawyer’s Collective is guilty of several FCRA violations. Government claims that after scanning the accounts, they found that money had been used for personal aggrandisement and for political dharnas against the Modi government.

Further, the ministry has given the association 30 days to show cause why its FCRA registration should not be cancelled. The ministry also claims that it was not satisfied with the reply filed by the association.

According to the government, the most serious violation is that Jaisingh received a remuneration of Rs.96.60 lakh from the NGO while she was ASG under the UPA government.

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.
Order issued by the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry

‘No Proof of Impropriety’

In her defence, Jaising said that as a lawyer and ASG, she is not a servant of the government but in fact a servant of the public. She alleges a conspiracy to silence voices being raised against government functioning asking why the judge in the Priya Pillai case was transferred after pronouncing a verdict against the government.

She questions why Mukul Rohatgi, the current Attorney General of India was allowed to appear for the Kerala liquor lobby and in the Supreme Court and be paid for it but her remunerations lead to scrutiny?

Further, she adds:

We had written permission from the government to receive remuneration for services performed. I have done nothing illegal and will contest all claims in court.

The Quint reached out to several lawyers, however, most of them refrained from a comment saying they have not read the order. Senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal said:

This is a clear case of malafide abuse of power. This move is motivated, the timing is all wrong and the government is singling out people who think they are against the establishment. Why are only people like Teesta Setalvaad & Indira Jaising being targeted? 
Kamini Jaiswal, Supreme Court Lawyer 

The association now intends to challenge the order as unconstitutional. The Lawyer’s Collective also issued this response.

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Topics:  Home Ministry   indira jaisingh 

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