New Delhi, Jun 1: Licence of NGO run by noted lawyer Indira Jaising--'Lawyers' Collective'--was today suspended by the Modi government for six months for alleged violation of FCRA by using the funds for rallies, dharna with political "hue and colour", a charge denied by the association which termed it as an act of "vindictiveness".
The Home Ministry, while suspending the licence under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), asked the NGO to submit its reply within 30 days for violation of various provisions of the Act after which its registration may even be cancelled.
Denying all the charges in a statement, the NGO condemned the government action and said it was only to "victimise the organization" and its office bearers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover.
"This is nothing but a gross misuse of the FCRA Act which is being used to suppress any form of dissent. It is far too well known that both Grover and Jaising have represented several persons in their professional capacity as lawyers in several cases against the government and the functionaries including the President of the BJP party Amit Shah protesting his discharge in the Sorabudin murder case.
"The Lawyers Collective intends to challenge the order as unconstitutional and required to be set aside," it said and termed it as "a malafide act and an act of vindictiveness on the part of the Government" "No money was spent on rallies or dharnas having any political hue or colour.
FCRA, 2010 was not applicable for expenses incurred in 2009, while in 2011 and 2014, it was spent from domestic/United Nations funding, which is exempt from FCRA," it said.
In the notice sent by Union Home Ministry, it said the 'Lawyers' Collective' has allegedly received foreign funds between 2006-07 and 2013-14 and it alleged discrepancies were found in the filing of annual returns of the NGO where Jaising, who had served as the Additional Solicitor General in UPA government, was functioning as Secretary.
The 5-page notice alleged that Jaising while functioning as Additional Solicitor General from July 2009 to May 5, 2014 received renumeration of Rs 96.60 lakh, which is admitted by the Association in its reply dated March 30, 2016 by stating that the remuneration of Rs 81.41 lakh was paid by the NGO, persuant to the permission of the Central government for 59 months (July 2009-May 2014).