CBI books legal NGO for foreign aid lapses

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The allegation was strongly disputed by Lawyers Collective in a statement issued last month.

Advocate Anand Grover

New Delhi: The CBI has booked advocate Anand Grover and his Mumbai-based voluntary organisation, Lawyers Collective, for alleged misuse of foreign aid.

Sources said the agency has filed an FIR on the basis of a complaint from the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), which has alleged several discrepancies in the utilisation of foreign aid received by the NGO.

The CBI has booked Mr 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.

According to the ministry’s complaint, Lawyers Collective had allegedly wrongly utilised foreign aid worth over `32.39 crore received between 2006-07 and 2014-15.

Although the CBI has not named Mr 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, sources claimed.

The ministry has alleged that Ms Jaising, as the additional solicitor general 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 top court.