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CBI books senior lawyer Anand Grover, his NGO for foreign-aid irregularities

PTI New Delhi | Updated on June 18, 2019 Published on June 18, 2019

Anand Grover   -  Sandeep Saxena

The CBI has booked noted lawyer Anand Grover and his Mumbai-based voluntary organisation, Lawyers Collective, for alleged violation of rules in receiving foreign aid, officials said on Tuesday.

The agency has filed an FIR on the basis of a complaint from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which has alleged several discrepancies in the utilisation of foreign aid received by the NGO.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Grover, the president of Lawyers Collective, and unidentified office-bearers of the organisation, besides unidentified officials. The allegation was strongly disputed by Lawyers Collective in a statement issued last month.

Although the CBI has not named Grover’s wife and former additional solicitor general (ASG) Indira Jaising as an accused in the FIR, the complaint filed by the Ministry, which is now part of the FIR, mentions allegations against her.

The Ministry has alleged that Jaising, as the ASG from 2009 to 2014, had received remunerations worth ₹96.60 lakh from the foreign contributions received by Lawyers Collective. It has also stated that her foreign travels as ASG were funded by Lawyers Collective, using such contributions, without prior approval of the Ministry.

The Ministry has said the ASG is paid by the government from the Consolidated Fund of India and carries out very sensitive and high-level work, including, inter-alia, giving advice to the government in legal matters, appearing in the Supreme Court and high courts on its behalf and representing it in any reference made by the president to the apex court.

It has alleged that Jaising violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) by “not seeking clearances from the government for receiving foreign contributions in the form of remuneration from the organisation and accepting foreign hospitality while visiting a foreign country”.

According to the Ministry’s complaint, the Lawyers Collective had allegedly received foreign aid worth over ₹32.39 crore between 2006-07 and 2014-15, wherein irregularities were committed that amounted to violation of the FCRA, 2010.

Published on June 18, 2019

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