New Delhi: Noted lawyer Indira Jaising’s NGO ‘Lawyers’ Collective’ was on Wednesday barred from receiving funds from abroad as its licence was suspended for six months for alleged violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
The Home Ministry, while suspending the licence, asked the NGO to submit its reply within 30 days for violation of various provisions of FCRA after which its registration may even be cancelled.
The ‘Lawyers’ Collective’ has allegedly received foreign contribution between 2006-07 and 2013-14 and the Home Ministry found alleged discrepancy 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 Ministry while rejecting the reply of the NGO said that the records made available by it were examined in detail and “it was found that the same were not satisfactory” and it did not provide adequate explanation vis-a-vis the violations found and pointed out”.
The notice sent to the NGO said that during the course of adjudication whereby defence, explanations, documents were submitted by the NGO, “we have arrived at a prima facie conclusion” that the Association was in violation of various provisions of FCRA.
Indira Jaising while functioning as ASG from July 2009 to 5 May, 2014 received renumeration of Rs 96.60 lakh, which is admitted by the Association in its reply dated 30 March, 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).
The Home Ministry said it is really surprising how a senior law officer, such as an ASG can simultaneously and for such a long period be on the rolls of a private entity, being paid (out of foreign contribution) for undisclosed purposes in gross violation of rules applicable to law officers of Union of India.
Besides, how did the Association agree to such an arrangement (without even any resolution to that effect) and why she herself should have agreed for such an arrangement (without obtaining appropriate clearances required under the provisions of FCRA, 2010 and other relevent authorities).
This not only violation of provisions of FCRA, but also raises several other pertinent questions, the notice said.