Trying and testing times being out the best in you .We at the Lawyers Collective are determined to resist vindictive attacks on us for having done our professional duty. We are proud of the work we have done over the years and will continue to work , with or without money. As i have often said, we get money because we speak up, not the other way round , that is we speak up because we get money. Our accounts have been frozen , but we are grateful of every single member of our staff and to the lawyers who work with us , every single one of whom has offered to work voluntarily and continue the fight. This is the extent of their commitment to a cause larger than themselves. This is our contribution and our success. I fear to say anything more on this medium since we have been for warned that our accounts are being monitored for the black money we may have !
But i will add here the statement issued by the Lawyers Collective
Response of Lawyers Collective to the cancellation of its FCRA license by MHA, vide its order dated 27th November, 2016
Lawyers Collective (“LC”) has received an order dated 27th November, 2016 cancelling its registration to receive foreign contribution under Section 14(1), Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (“FCRA”), on 29th November, 2016 at its registered office at Mumbai. The cancellation order is on the grounds that LC allegedly has violated the terms and conditions of its registration certificate, violated the provisions of the FCRA, and most importantly, acted against ‘public interest’.
Strangely enough, the order is passed on a Sunday, when government offices are closed.
The order repeats what is alleged in the show cause cum suspension order dated 31.05.2016 and disregards LC’s replies in fact and in law. At the same time, certain new allegations have surfaced such as ‘diversion’ of foreign contribution and utilization for ‘personal gain’, which are not borne out by the facts or the records, are absolutely false and defamatory. It is preposterous for the MHA to suggest that LC has no record of work, when the Government of India has itself acknowledged LC’s contributions towards advancing women’s rights, securing access to affordable medicines, protecting the rights of HIV positive people as well as transgender persons and continues to call upon LC for legal inputs.
LC reiterates that the current proceedings under FCRA, including the latest cancellation order, are only a continuation of the harassment and persecution of the organisation, especially of its two trustees, Ms. Indira Jaising and Mr. Anand Grover, Senior Advocates, perpetrated by the Government, over last one year. Both Ms. Jaising and Mr. Grover have been and are continuing to take up sensitive cases, in their professional capacity, against the powerful functionaries of the present ruling establishment, including Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin case , Yakub Memon and Sanjiv Bhat and Priya Pillay in the Greenpeace case . LC perceives this to be a clear attack on the right to legal representation of persons who need legal services the most and a gross abuse of powers by the government of the day. It is also a clear attack on the right to free speech and association guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
Last month, the MHA refused to renew LC’s registration under the FCRA. According to media reports, LC is among a list of 25 NGOs “allegedly taking part in activities detrimental to the country’s interest”.based on ” agency and field reports”
LC calls upon the government to make the intelligence reports (based on which LC was put under the list of 25 NGOs) public so that we have an opportunity to challenge the reports against us, an elementary tool of natural justice.
LC is exploring all legal options to challenge the cancellation order, including its defamatory contents, and will take necessary action in an appropriate manner.