Indira Jaising

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Indira Jaising
Born 1940 (age 76–77)
Mumbai, India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Lawyer

Indira Jaising (born 3 June 1940)[1] is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India.Her husband Anand Grover is a noted human rights lawyer and designated senior adovacate of the Supreme Court. She also runs an NGO with the name of Lawyers' Collective, license of which was permanently cancelled[2] by the Home Ministry for violations of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. Central government accused the NGO of using foreign funds in a manner not mentioned in the objectives of the NGO. However, the Bombay HC has ordered to defreeze the domestic accounts of her NGO.[3] She is an Indian lawyer noted for her legal activism in promoting human right causes.

Early life[edit]

Jaising was born in Mumbai She did her school education in Mumbai. Then completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bangalore University.[1] In 1962, completed LLM a post graduate degree in law from University of Bombay.[1]

In 1981, along with her husband Anand Grover, she founded the Lawyers Collective, a NGO devoted to feminist and left-wing causes. In 1986, she became the first woman to be designated a Senior Advocate by the High Court of Bombay. Her radical feminism and strong left-wing orientation, as also her aggressive personality, endeared her to Sonia Gandhi and in 2009, Jaising became the first woman to be appointed Additional Solicitor General of India. From the beginning of her legal career, she has focused on protection of human rights and rights of women.

Fighting for women[edit]

Jaising argued several cases relating to discrimination against women, including Mary Roy's case, which led to the grant of equal inheritance rights for Syrian Christian women in Kerala and Rupan Deol Bajaj, the IAS officer who had prosecuted KPS Gill for outraging her modesty. This was one of the first cases of sexual harassment, successfully prosecuted. Jaising also argued the case of Githa Hariharan in which the Supreme Court in a Bench presided over by Chief Justice A.S. Anand held that under Hindu law, the mother was also the "natural guardian" of her minor children, so that the children could also bear the name of the mother. Jaising also successfully challenged the discriminatory provisions of the Indian Divorce Act in the High Court of Kerala, thus enabling Christian women to get a divorce on the ground of cruelty or desertion, a right which was denied to them. She has represented Teesta Setalvad, in a case where she was targeted and accused of embezzling money.[4]

Some of the other cases Intervention:

In 2015, Indira Jaising she argued the case for Priya Pillai in Green Peace India case.[5]

In 2016, in Supreme Court v. Indira Jaising has challenged the procedure for designating senior advocates in the Supreme Court[6]

Human rights and the environment[edit]

Jaising has represented the victims of the Bhopal tragedy in the Supreme Court of India in their claim for compensation against the American multinational Union Carbide Corporation. Jaising argued cases of homeless pavement dwellers of Mumbai who were facing eviction. A keen environmentalist, Jaising has argued major environmental cases in the Supreme Court. Jaising has been associated with several Peoples Commissions on Violence in Punjab to investigate the extra judicial killings, disappearances and mass cremations that took place during the period 1979 to 1990. United Nations appointed Jaising and two other experts to a fact-finding mission investigating alleged killings, rape and torture by security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state.[7]

Lawyers Collective[edit]

Jaising later became the founder secretary of the Lawyers Collective, an organization that provides legal funding for the underprivileged sections of Indian society. She founded a monthly magazine called The Lawyers, in 1986, which focuses on social justice and women's issues in the context of Indian law. She has been involved in cases related to the discrimination against women, the Muslim Personal Law, rights of pavement dwellers and the homeless and the Bhopal gas tragedy. She has fought against child labor, for the economic rights of women, estranged wives and domestic violence cases. The NGO currently has had its license suspended for violating the FCRA norms [8][9][10]


Jaising has attended several national and international conferences on women and represented her country at these conferences.

Her NGO has been barred by the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) from receiving foreign funds. The NGO Lawyers' Collective has had their license suspended for violation of foreign funding norms.[11] However, the Bombay HC has ordered to defreeze the domestic accounts of her NGO.

She had a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies London and has been a visiting Scholar at the Columbia University New York. She was a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

She was conferred with the Rotary Manav Seva Award in recognition of her services to the nation in fighting corruption and as a champion of the weaker sections of the society.

She was given the Padma Shree by the President of India in 2005 for her service to the cause of public affairs.[12]


External links[edit]

  • Woman Against Family - blog entry by Jaising written on the first anniversary of the domestic violence act