We need to respect humanity: Bombay HC to ED on Anand Grover

Court asks ED not to insist on appearance of the senior advocate till December 14

Image Courtesy:thewire.in

On November 24, the Bombay High Court asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to consider deferring summons to legal luminary and human rights defender Anand Grover in connection with a money laundering case. The court asked ED to make the consideration in light of Grover’s age and the still raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Bar and Bench reported that the court reasoned, “The virus is spreading and you have to bear in mind the scenario. The petitioner is around 80 years old, had been tested Covid positive. We need to respect humanity.”

The Bombay HC then asked the Assistant Solicitor General to take instructions on whether the ED can defer the summons served on Senior Advocate Anand Grover to appear before it on November 26, adjourning the case till today.

When proceedings resumed today, Additional Solisitor General Anil Singh submitted before the court that the ED will not insist on Grover’s appearance tomorrow, but mysteriously kept insisting that this statement not be recorded, reported LiveLaw. But Grover’s legal team comprising Senior Advocates Amit Desai, Aspi Chinoy and Siddharth Luthra insisted that the statement must be recorded apprehending perhaps that the ED might renege on the deal. But the ASG urged that he be taken at his word. After much back and forth the court finally passed an interim order restraining the ED from insisting on the personal appearance of the petitioner till the next date of the hearing i.e December 14.  

Senior Advocates Grover and Indira Jaising are both trustees of Lawyers Collective, a human rights NGO that has been allegedly dragged into a fake case by a vindictive regime. It is no secret that both Grover and Jaising have been a thorn in the side of the ruling disposition on account of their stellar work in key legal cases related to human rights violation as well as vocal criticism of the regime.

First the Home Ministry alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) by the NGO for “political purposes”. Based on this an FIR was filed in June 2019. Following this the Central Bureau of Investigation raided Grover and Jaising’s home and offices on July 11, 2019. Several Parliamentarians, lawyers and activists had come out in support of the duo at the time. Though the courts granted and even extended the duo protection from arrest, Grover and Jaising continue to remain in the regime’s crosshairs.

Lawyers Collective moved Bombay High Court to quash the case filed against them by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Grover and Jaising called the ED’s complaint an abuse of power.


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