New Delhi: The licence of an NGO run by noted lawyer Indira Jaising has been cancelled permanently by the government for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, an action termed by the organisation as “preposterous” and an “attack on free speech”.
The home ministry in its order said that Ms Jaising, who was the Additional Solicitor General of India under the previous UPA government, had violated FCRA norms by receiving foreign funds between 2006-07 and 2013-14 when she was a government servant.
The NGO, Lawyers’ Collective, in a statement, expressed surprise as to how an order could be issued on Sunday when all the government offices are closed. “Lawyers’ Collective has received an order dated November 27, 2016 cancelling its registration to receive foreign contribution at its registered office at Mumbai. The cancellation order is on the grounds that LC allegedly has violated the terms and conditions of its registration certificate, violated the provisions of the FCRA, and most importantly, acted against public interest,” the statement added.
Earlier in June, the home ministry had suspended the NGO’s licence for six months for alleged violation of FCRA norms, for using funds for rallies with political “hue and Colour.”. The organisation was also put on the list of 25 NGOs found allegedly taking part in activities detrimental to the national interest. Ms Jaising has also represented social activist Teesta Setalvad in a case of FCRA violation against Ms Setalvad’s NGO.
The statement by the NGO added that the current proceedings under FCRA, including the latest cancellation order, are only a continuation of the harassment and persecution of the organisation, especially of its two trustees and senior advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover perpetrated by the government, over last one year.
“Both Ms Jaising and Grover have been and are continuing to take up sensitive cases, in their professional capacity, against the powerful functionaries of the present ruling establishment,” the statement said.