Raids on lawyers an insult to legal fraternity: Activists

Mumbai: Mumbaikars extended their support and staged a protest at the subway gate 1 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus on Friday evening to publicly condemn the CBI raids at the residence of the lawyer couple, Indira Jaising and Anand Grover and at the Mumbai and Delhi offices of their law firm, Lawyer’s Collective (LC). The protesters included lawy­ers, activists and students, who demanded to drop all criminal charges against the law firm. The raids were conducted at the New Delhi house of the couple and in their Mumbai and Delhi based offices on Thursday. “It’s really unfortunate the government is using the agencies for its personal benefit. It’s a complete abuse of power,” said Supreeth Ravish, a student of social work at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Jaising and Grover are well-known in the legal fraternity for fighting for the rights of the poor. In the 1980s, they extended legal help to millworkers who found themselves unemployed following the closure of the mills in Mumbai. In 2002, they fought for the Godhra violence victims. “Both Anand and Indira have spent their life fighting for the people. This is a planned propaganda against them, as now, anyone who chooses to disagree with the government has to face the consequences,” said Parvin Jehangir, a social activist.

The protesters shouted slogans, called the CBI ‘a puppet of PM Modi and Amit Shah, the home minister’.“The works of Jaising and Grover have influenced a large number of young lawyers and the steps taken by the government are not only an insult to them, but an insult to the nation’s legal fraternity,” said Niranjani Shetty, a lawyer, practising for the last 30 years.

Indira Jaising became the first woman senior advocate of the Bombay HC in 1986. In 2009, she was the first woman to be appointed addl solicitor general of India.

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