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NHRC seeks status report of CBI probe into case against Lawyers Collective

ANI | Updated: Jun 21, 2019 18:55 IST

New Delhi (India), Jun 21 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought in four weeks a status report of the CBI probe into the case against NGO Lawyers Collective and senior advocate Anand Grover for alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
The commission called for the report after rights activist Henri Tiphagne associated with Human Rights Defenders' Alert (HRDA) and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative's (CHRI) Maja Daruwala expressed "grave concern" over filing of the case under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the FCRA and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The FIR has been registered based on a complaint by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Lawyers' Collective describes itself as a group of lawyers with a mission to empower and change the status of marginalised groups through the effective use of law and engagement in human rights advocacy, legal aid and litigation.
Senior counsel Indira Jaising, who was Additional Solicitor General between 2009 and 2014, is also part of the NGO.
Daruwala in her letter to the commission said that Jaising and his husband Grover were "being victimised for the work that they have done" in the courts in their capacity as lawyers. "She also stated that a pattern of intimidation is going on against anyone who challenges government policies," the NHRC press note said.
The HRDA has urged the commission to exercise the provisions laid down under Section 12 (b) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 and take a view on its long-standing request of urgently reviewing the FCRA.
"It is also stated that registration of criminal cases by the CBI against this organisation is a step to intimidate and harass them for their human rights work," Tiphagne was quoted as saying in a press release.
"The Commission while considering earlier communications received from various human rights defenders has made it clear that the matter related to an alleged violation of norms of FCRA and suspension of the organisation by the Government of India due to the alleged violation of norms is a subject which is the outside purview of the Commission," it said.
It, however, said that the commission is "empowered under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to examine the issue to make it non-discriminatory and to avoid arbitrariness". (ANI)