NGO barred from receiving foreign funds: Rulebook or retribution?

NGO barred from receiving foreign funds: Rulebook or retribution?



the government has put a hold on well-known lawyer Indra Jai Singh an outspoken activist as well from receiving foreign funds for her NGO lawyers collective this after the Home Ministry claims that Miss J Singh had violated the rules under which she's allowed to receive foreign contributions making the argument that when she was SG a government law officer simultaneously her NGO had been receiving foreign fundings miss Jessica said she did not violate any rule and in fact this was nothing more than an example of political vindictiveness so which one is it the rulebook or retribution and revenge on the program today with me in the studio is introducing herself and joining her on this face office GV l Narasimha Rao of the BJP in Turin let me start by asking you the basic objection seems to be that while you were ASG why you were a government law officer in the UPA government so we're talking about an earlier government from July from July 2009 to May 2014 simultaneously you were receiving foreign funds for your NGO why is that permissible why is that not against the rules and we're of course talking about ninety six point six 60 lakhs that's almost a groan of room yes okay so here is the law on the subject it says no foreign contribution shall be accepted by a candidate for election a correspondent a communist a judge a government servant yes now when you are a law officer of the Government of India you are not quote-unquote a government servant a government servant is a person who's in the employ of the government and law officers are not let me give you just one very recent example from the current government okay our Attorney General mr. muckle Wragge yes appeared with the permission of the government yes for the liquor lobby from Kerala yes and he got I had some amount of fees I don't know how much certainly more than what I received over a period of five years just for one appearance now if he was a government servant the government could never have given him and I'm assuming they gave him permission to appear could never have given him but you're saying you're a law officer with the government any government and you're not actually a government service you're not so no hado no way this has been scrapped or suspended I would say scrapped for six months it's faulty it's not just faulty it's against the law and I have to tell you that they know this and that is why in the final notice in the first notice they gave us they did make the mistake of calling me a government servant but in the notice which is put up on the 30th of dated 31st May on the 1st of June it does not refer to me as a government servant so a soul if it doesn't refer to you as a government servant just before I get GE another Samara what are the grounds on which they've suspended though precisely what you said that while you were working as an Additional Solicitor General you did receive this Renu murasia Network our last but not the least I need to tell you that I have written permission from the Government of India to receive a Renu Mauritian every month for that no you pay a fee ago I was an Additional Solicitor with the you people let me bring in mr. rauner mr. Rao the fact is that on technicality in their addressing has given you moco truth Keys example said that he did take up a private case with the consent of the government similarly she says that she had a consent of the government in which she was the law officer for her NGO to receive this foreign funding so isn't there a parallel there and then doesn't the legal case become you know or the legal argument collapse a burqa I think you you wonder in the Raji both are trying to obfuscate the issue I please no no I'll tell you yes I think rupees 96 lakh rupees please let me place the facts okay I think this we are talking about the NGO lawyers collective yes which was funded founded by Indira in derogation and her husband here along with maybe a few other members yes they have received foreign contributions to the tune of 32 point some crores 32 0.39 and there are planes 40 no that just let me that's what I'm saying so this breeze are the foreign contributions they have received from different sources yes and this was in violation of different sections of fcra so your major why you should clarify you are distinct another why can i yeah there are these are two different aspects let me place the NGO first because he's a ring of Karnataka so that's not it you can I can I can I barkhaa yeah this is what I said yes would you please let me know when can I can I can can let me let me make my statement there are this is a report observations of the inspection team there are 14 observations which are in violation mr. Rao yeah mr. low complete apology we cannot you cannot yes yes please make your point yeah please revert me if you have the facts you cannot confuse I think the the major violations according to me or the front the the foreign contributions were received in clear violation of the FCRA Act and I'm the document in my hand spells out every section violation the foreign the and they were spending on activities which were contrary to the aims and objects of the Association you cannot receive do you know what the Association of our organisation I please barkhaa yes yeah I think this is an attempt to somehow try and a truth being surface i think please let me place the fire okay okay you know there are let me just give him to give him two more minutes and i have not been allowed to speak at all not at all please now speak uninterrupted for two minutes then i'll allow her to speak go ahead yes there are gross violations of the FCRA Act of 2010 14 such violations they have no answers to these they are clearly in violation of the Act and they actually deserve to be actually they they deserve to be meted out to stronger reaction in a stronger action in my assessment the second point about Miss Indra gazing personally if she received 96 lakh rupees as personally reward as personal remuneration from an NGO yes she found it yes and and how could she do it did she take up only get a case-by-case permissioned actually have the documents to show on your show now that she had permission to receive these monies from this do I have okay now me a citizen where a conflict of interest okay so let me think government of India that you're receiving foreign contributions how can I assume there is no conflict of interest okay not pass off yes something like a misdemeanor under misappropriation of funds you cannot pass it off this as some kind of some kind of an attack on freedom of speech or dissent okay me right now now you've had your say so now let me put this to you miss Jessie the fact is I have the order here in front of me and it makes the argument about a law officer performing very sensitive and important work it says that you travel to foreign countries like Nepal and USA and the traveling expenses were born by lowers collected from foreign contributions without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs it goes on to talk about your husband mr. Anand Grover also talking about donations the lawyers collective receives for the work he does and the central point seems to be this personal renumeration of almost a crore of rupees at a time when you were simultaneously a law officer of the government do you not think that there is an inherent conflict of it all right let me explain first of all to answer his question do I have a document in writing I do okay I have written authorization he has not seen the file it was submitted along with our reply to the Ministry of Home Affairs okay he's go there open the file and you will find the written permission for me to accept even the amount is mentioned per month you might call it a figure of 96 it was over a period of five years and I don't think it is an exorbitant event is there a conference all right so now Burtka you as well as everybody else knows that I have had a track record before becoming the Additional Solicitor General and after becoming the Additional Solicitor General of working on issues of domestic violence sexual harassment at the workplace and sexual abuse now during this five-year period what I sought permission for and obtained was permission to continue working on these issues and because there was no conflict of interest on issues relating to sexual harassment issues relating to sexual abuse I did assist at work during the time when the 2013 law was being but just let me finish I do not think that there is any conflict of interest in my working on issues of the ancient sanctioned by a funders and reported to the kaback but in this in this order in this order it actually says that on the inspection of the accounts of the Association yes it was actually notice that this foreign funding was used for advocacies with MPs on media I'm reading out the exact language yes advocacy with MPs of media and also to organize rallies Varna's draft legislation etc yes and that you were organizing rallies or dharna with a political you and of course as you know foreign funds can never be used for anything political right please address this charge then I'm actually you were conducting political activity and that violates the rules right because since you have the document right in front of you you will realize that the quote unquote political view a word which does not find mention in the act you can read it no where does it talk about political it talks about political organizations yes and political organizations are being dick must be declared to be a political organization Louis collective has not been declared to be a political organization so what political hue means I don't know coming to the rallies I wish to tell you that these were people work living with HIV there was a bill yes it's true the lowest collective averse book consistently on the right to health we did draft a bill on the anti-discrimination law for women for people living with HIV yes it was submitted to the government for being considered it was sitting there and not being organized is that yes we don't deny it there were these four people living with HIV who attended just a minute attended this event and their only singular demand was please introduce an anti-discrimination legislation mr. Rao mr. Rao you know the the the the fact is that if it is HIV social causes domestic violence sexual violence against women there should be no problem for any government that's that's what I would imagine right now the order clearly says there was a political agenda political hue to these rallies indra Jai Singh says it was a rally to do with HIV please respond to this mr. oh I think you see it's quite a I would say even obscene for a law officer of the government to be lobbied with the members of parliament to get some legislations passed whatever be the content of those because if they're social I think there are lot of foreign there are a lot of foreign agencies which want to intervene in our social agenda okay which want to influence our social policy okay so it's really I think I would consider this rather completely incomplete contravention of the the spirit of functioning of a law officer of this country okay all right the mr. Romney I just integer and I have a follow up there yeah see the thing is you are suggesting that even when it seems issues which are non-political in terms of party politics because everything is political at the end of it but you're talking about party politics right you are saying that there is a problem because you don't know there may be farmer companies there may be foreign agencies that have a view even on social issues so you see a problem fair enough I park there and I'll put it to Indra but mr. Rao there is a an allegation that has come from indra raja singh today that the foreign contributions that are being stopped are basically to those who have taken on the BJP right that's the argument she's made she says I'm actually being punished because I have an opinion on BJP party president Amit Shah because I have legally represented these subtle vaad I have legally represented Saji but I have legally represented Priya Pillai how does the BJP address this perception that this rule book isn't only being applied selectively to critics of the BJP no I think this is the same routine political when they are charged that we here and this country is tired of I think Sonia Gandhi says the same thing Congress party today well very but say AgustaWestland did not complain that bribes were paid why are you raising this issue I think there is this country is governed by a but the foreign contributions are governed by an fcra Act which was amended during the when the Congress was in power in 2010 yes and the law applies to everyone and if she can point some violations of any other NGO I think they can certainly they can certainly approach the concerns your inspecting silk list a vendetta to simply crime and data and not provide any answers to the charges that are leveled against you which are very serious in nature does not wash within anyone in India the question could also be reversed to you the question could be as as was brought up even with these cassette vaudeville mr. Jaitley actually made this point that he said that some of the foreign funding he made this allegation was in fact used for advertisements that asked people not to vote for Narendra Modi this was a charge that came from around you at least our settle bad so the BJP may well argue that all of these groups who have received foreign contribution are all united by one thread that they're all anti Moody so the same question that I put to him could also be put to you is that not a sort of politicking if you use that opinion which you have a right to have as a citizen and use that funding to maybe further advocate that position right worker first and foremost we didn't use the funding for that purpose you must remember that what the BJP has done in targeting people like me and mr. Grover is that they have targeted professionals right I'm I think it's probably the first time in the history of this country that lawyers have been attacked I'm not aware of any incident earlier to this do not forget that we are also practicing lawyers day in and day out after all Anand Grover has been appointed by the Supreme Court as a special public prosecutor in the 2g case because of his standing is annoyed I have been appointed by the Supreme Court as an amicus do you appear in a group of petitioners dealing with sexual abuse because of my track record now we appear in a court of law we do so in our capacity as lawyers number one number two every human being in this country has a constitutional right to be represented by a lawyer that is why when Yakub Memon was in death row very few people were willing to represent him and what let's let me finish at 1 a.m. in the morning we unand it and he was told for that you are anti-national so what is happening over here is they are collapsing their grievances against us in relation to the cases which we have argued in a court of law and using FCRA as a surrogate as a surrogate to get back at me at me I just before mr. Rao comes in they could be another you know there could be a counter-argument to that in there and the counter-argument could be that is it at hyperbolic for you to say every time I speak against Amit Shah I actually get a notice from the Government of India the BJP for example today is saying that your according yourself to much importance in this case that it's not like the government is sitting there and thinking only about in the adjacent 0.2 0.2 then if there are allegations those allegations have to be answered just because you had a post to the BJP I you can't play the Congress type character and everything is a bit you know at first and foremost vodka and for his benefit I'd like you to know that I'm not a member of the Congress party it is true that I was appointed as an Additional Solicitor General yeah the first woman ever to be appointed in the country as Additional Solicitor General I was appointed for my track record of having worked on women's issues and while I was on the position I was expected to further the agenda of women's rights which I successfully did yes now apart from that let me tell you for five full days their inspectors their accountants were in our office they had unrestricted access to our books of account okay they have taken copies of that nothing has been held back from them I do not believe that just because I'm an NGO or just because I'm a senior lawyer I do not have providers I went to attend an author's book launch in Delhi and that's why I let me give you two dates 22nd of November 2015 on that day the case against the discharge of Amit Shah was list in the High Court on the morning you wake up in the morning at 7 o clock the first thing you see in the newspapers is that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a show-cause notice to the lawyers collective on that very day okay now you move forward to 29th of May 2016 yeah I stated in no uncertain terms yeah that we will be filing an application in the Supreme Court against the judgement fifty-first is the date of the notice I'm sorry to me it doesn't seem like a course mr. mr. Rao mr. Rao go ahead in the last comments from what the two day mr. two dates have given you mr. Romm the burqa I think the process of cleaning of the entire regulatory process and misuse of CRA licences has been on even before our government came into office I think this has been going on this was the very purpose of amending the Act in 2010 IB report on NGOs was written under the UPA government just to just to set the record straight do it this is this is yeah this this this activity this concern about NGOs misusing FCRA provisions yeah or receiving foreign contributions or not being accountable yeah was something that bothered successive governments yes and this government has given an opportunity we a large number of NGOs which could not feel free the required conditions under the Act oh and they had to forego their a licence under the FCRA so there is no question of personal victimization it's only it's only that some people are using it for their own personal but the Prime Minister's by its star activism isn't it isn't it isn't there a perception that this government crackdown or as it were what you believe is a misuse of foreign funds is a more aggressive one than that of the last government even though that IB report was written under the last government no no no certainly not I think if you see the manner in which certain NGOs that were that were conducting campaigns against the nuclear plant in in Tamilnadu I think you know the kind of statements that even then with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan yes and they were they were very AdWords I'd be that if throats and adverse comments at that time point so this is a concern this is a concern that that that is that it's it's a concern of not only our country throughout the world today foreign contributions are being regulated more seriously because there is a perception that has emerged all over the world not just in India I'm out of time we're on the right track I'm just a very quick last comment yes is there something that India should reconsider about foreign contributions per se the argument could be made that even NGOs should be able to raise their funds from within because you know we are a modern confident country why do we need foreign funding at all yeah any kind of work well let me answer your question I hope you've read the money bill which was introduced in the Parliament during this budget session what do you think they did they redefined what is a foreign source and they redefined a foreign sword or that Vedanta watch Congress and BJP yes yes both yeah let me make it very clear I'm not holding a brief here for the Congress government okay I've already told you I'm not a member of the party but look that's the amendment they've made and that alignment at the Congress also I'm just making that for every political party across the board okay let's be clear but I'm here contrasting what they're doing by enabling funding from Vedanta whether it is two political parties or two angel okay I do have to end but I think that's a very valid question to you mr. Rao there is political parties can receive foreign contributions as in the case of Vedanta with that case is pending in the Supreme Court I think if the Supreme Court will decide its validity why can't NGOs yes why not no III think the two are not comparable though I think in that in that I think a level playing field has been now created for domestic companies and foreign companies having domestic offshoots so this is not a blanket permission for all foreign companies he's saying but there is is there is a huge difference that needs to be appreciated and you can have an ideological point but by pointing something else you cannot cover up your own okay you have your own violations I do have to leave it there but I do have to also make the point that this harsh report from the Intelligence Bureau did come in at a Congress government so when you make the argument that this is the BJP being vindictive what about that process beginning with the Congress yes there was definitely a report I wouldn't I would go to the extent of calling it's illegal because marker for your information the Intelligence Bureau in India is not based on any statute any law and let me tell you the very existence of the Intelligence Bureau has been challenged and those that's a whole different debate I'm not here to defend what the Intelligence Bureau does in fact I think it should be scrapped and it should be answerable to Parliament there should be a statute on it and all its reports are like muck I will gosh that is that's that's a very big statement and a very contentious statement I I would say to say the intelligence bureau should be accountable is very different from saying all of its reports are my existing reports all its existing because there are there are national security questions there but we will leave it there in large icing is planning to take this to this Japan to challenge this legally so this matter to will go to the courts reveal Narasimha Rao in Rajasthan thank you so much for joining us you

25 thoughts on “NGO barred from receiving foreign funds: Rulebook or retribution?

  1. bharkha is back to NDTV lol…look like came back with introspective reform,this was what people are started saying enough is enough,hope all media do jeournalism now

  2. Government servant or she compromised the trust put on her to act for Government. It looks like these ladies do not want him to explain.

  3. These laws were made by the British or are based on the British jurisprudence. Any effort to try and institutionalise these, by these stupid pseudo British, like this idiot Jaising, should be ignored and deplored.

  4. Baffling to see that the main foreign donor for lawyers collective is the Ford Foundation, a well known CIA arm. Why is that FACT not mentioned anywhere here? What is Barkha and Indira trying to hide?

  5. Mr JVL.Roa. when your Bjp party can take foreign funding what nonsense is this.other if they take is corrupt.when his Bjp gunda beat officials in the street Mr GVL have no mouth to open.but when it comes to other this man will be the first spoke person who have 👎 shame to point out other and talk nonsense.

  6. F**k the law. No NGO funding from overseas. Why we need. Fill all the holes by molten metal and stop all sorts of NGO funding. Let us change the law so that we do not need any funding from overseas.
    This is like, Burkha Dutt, anti national, having this debate. You may stand in the roof top and talk. No one is listening to you.

  7. She should not be spared she is trying to escape on pretext that she is against bjp.If u have not done wrong why u fear

  8. Aunty ji sorry , you are lying…COngress bastards promoted all kinds of corruption so you and your husband enjoyed all the freedom….now you and uncle ji have to give us answers!!!!

  9. I have an opinion on punjabi's in public space.They are the most intelligent race whether in India or pakistan

  10. बुरखा तुमको तो भगा दिया था NDTV से . सुना है कुटिल चप्पल भी तुमको भगा दिया अपने चैनल से .इस इंदिरा जैसिंघ की शकल देखो , दिन में ही देख कर आदमी डर जाए . हराम का पैसा हज़म नहीं होता

  11. Oh how Gurkha hosts this witch to give her a fig leaf. It did not work you got your 20 minutes to whine, but now prepare to go behind bars

  12. This jailing is playing clever than half. She is guilty as clear as a new baby. Typical scurrying and confuse with fine points. She should be jailed forthwith and dole confiscated.

  13. Miss jaising if you are innocent then please fight the case, you will win if you are innocent or go to jail if you are a culprit

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