NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Executive Committee has expressed concern over CBI searches at the residence and offices of senior advocates Indira Jaising and Anand Grover.
In a message sent by SCBA president Rakesh Kumar Khanna to its members, he said that there should not be any interference with the independence and professional discharge of duties of an advocate.
"SCBA EC expresses its concern over the raids and search operations conducted by CBI at the residence and offices in Delhi and Mumbai of its two senior members known for their human rights' work and public cause litigation.
"There should not be any interference with the independence and professional discharge of duties of an advocate," Khanna said.
Earlier, over hundred lawyers of the Supreme Court had written to the SCBA urging it to issue a statement condemning the raids.
The CBI had last week searched residences and offices of Jaising and her husband Grover, and Lawyers Collective in a case of alleged violation of rules in receiving and utilising foreign aid, attracting sharp reactions from politicians and activists.
The agency had filed an FIR on June 13 against Grover who is the president of Lawyers Collective, a voluntary group known for raising human rights issues in courts, on the basis of a complaint by the Home Ministry that foreign aid received by the group was used in violation of norms.
The apex court on May 8 had sought response from Jaising, Grover and their NGO on a plea seeking investigation and lodging of FIR for allegedly violating rules relating to receipt and utilisation of foreign funds.
The PIL filed by Lawyers' Voice, a voluntary organisation of advocates, alleged that the funds collected by them were misutilised for "activities against the nation".
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also issued notice to the Home Ministry and asked its response on the allegations including that the money received by Lawyers Collective was used to "influence political activities".