NEW DELHI :
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case of alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and violations of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) against the Lawyers Collective, a non-governmental organization (NGO), and its president and senior advocate Anand Grover.
The probe agency registered the case on 13 June under the Prevention of Corruption Act after a scrutiny of records available with the Union home ministry showed that there were “prima facie violations of various provisions of FCRA", CBI said.
The organization, which works for human rights advocacy, legal aid and litigation, lost its FCRA registration when the home ministry cancelled it in November 2016.
Staff at Lawyers Collective declined to comment on the matter.
The CBI’s move comes just days after the home ministry on 7 June warned NGOs of penal action if their office-bearers and key members were changed without the approval of the ministry.
Kiren Rijiju, the minister of state for home affairs in the previous government, had informed the Rajya Sabha in the winter session of Parliament last year that more than 4,800 NGOs had been barred by the National Democratic Alliance government from receiving foreign funds between 2016 to 2019, with the NGOs losing their FCRA registrations as they did not file their annual returns.
Japnam Kaur Bindra contributed to this story.