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Statement Condemning the Persecution of Lawyers Collective and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover by Home Ministry, GoI

We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the efforts of the Ministry of Home Affairs to persecute the Lawyers Collective (LC), Indira Jaising and Anand Grover in order to obstruct the legal and human rights work being carried out by them.

We condemn the suspension of the FCRA registration of LC, as well as the mala fide and motivated manner in which the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a blatant violation of law, leaked the suspension notice to the press even before providing LC with a copy of the same.

There has been a systematic campaign and abuse of the legal process by the Central Government to malign Indira Jaising and Anand Grover as well as LC over the past six months. The suspension of LC’s FCRA registration is nothing but an escalation of the Government’s campaign to crush dissent and criminalise any person or organisation that questions or opposes the violation of fundamental rights and human rights by the State and its agencies.

The motivated campaign and actions against LC fit neatly into the present Government’s concerted campaign against marginalised and oppressed sections of society and any person, whether students, activists, academics or individuals who question the policies, actions and the abuse of power by the government.

Senior Advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover have an exceptional profile of public service, probity and personal and professional integrity as lawyers and as human rights activists. Their work has received global recognition.

Ms. Indira Jaising, has made an unparalleled contribution to law and jurisprudence on gender discrimination, whether relating to women’s right to property, sexual harassment at the workplace, domestic violence etc. She has also been a member of the CEDAW Committee. Anand Grover held the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Health between 2008 to 2014. He has made a tremendous contribution to the legal campaign against the criminalisation of homosexuality; rights of persons living with HIV; and access to medicine and healthcare. Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover, through LC have and continue to advance the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society, thereby upholding constitutional values. Instead of recognizing their invaluable contribution to the county and its people, the Government is making all efforts to obstruct their work.

Through the persecution and harassment of LC and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, the present Government is sending a clear and chilling message to the citizens of this country that the inevitable consequence of questioning or criticising the present Government’s policies is repression and criminalisation.

LC has specifically and repeatedly countered and justified each of the bald allegations regarding misuse of funds that have been levelled by the MHA. However, the MHA has displayed an unusual vindictiveness by ignoring the official responses sent by LC and proceeding to suspend their FCRA registration. Continue reading Statement Condemning the Persecution of Lawyers Collective and Indira Jaising and Anand Grover by Home Ministry, GoI