People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) expressed shock at the lodging of an FIR against the Lawyers Collective, its President and senior lawyer, Anand Grover and other office bearers by the CBI. PUCL deplores this undisguised attempt to intimidate and silence Grover, as well as legal luminary and co-founder of Lawyers Collective, Ms Indira Jaising, and office bearers of the organization.
PUCL said that the lodging of the FIR by the CBI is nothing short of a brazen abuse of the process of law. The FIR follows an investigation into allegations of violation of provisions of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, launched in 2016. PUCL said that it constitutes a motivated, vengeful and vituperative act meant to silence not just the Lawyers Collective but also serve as a lesson to all others who dare to challenge the Central Government.
PUCL said that the sudden registration of FIR by the CBI strongly indicate a witch-hunt against 2 of the most outspoken and important human rights defenders in India. Indeed, a major aspect of the case made out against the organization was that its work violated various guidelines of the FCRA regulations including in lobbying work for passage of crucial rights protection legislations!
PUCL demands that the state desist from these continuous attempts to browbeat the senior lawyers, Ms. Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover, by embroiling them in multiple legal cases and procedures and misusing its powers to order the arrest and detention of all dissenters. PUCL demands that this witch-hunt against lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders cease forthwith. It also demands that the case against the Lawyers Collective be dropped forthwith.