Indira Jaising

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Indira Jaising
Advocate Indira Jaising.jpg
Indira Jaising

1940 (age 81–82)
Mumbai, India
Known forhuman rights and gender equality activism
Spouse(s)Anand Grover

Indira Jaising (born 3 June 1940)[1] is an Indian lawyer who is noted for her legal activism in promoting human right causes. In 2018 she was ranked 20th in the list of 50 Greatest Leaders of the World by Fortune magazine.[2] She also runs an NGO with the name of Lawyers' Collective, the license of which was permanently cancelled[3][4] by the Home Ministry for violations of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. The central government of India accused the NGO of using foreign funds in a manner not mentioned in the objectives of the NGO. However, the Bombay High Court has passed the order to de-freeze the domestic accounts of her NGO. However, this is a small relief as the case still continues in the Supreme Court of India. [5]

Early life[edit]

Jaising was born in Mumbai to a Sindhi Hindu family. 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, an 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 feminism and strong 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 the protection of human rights and the 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.[6]

Some other cases intervention:

In 2015, Jaising she argued the case for Priya Pillai in Green Peace India case.[7]

In 2016, in Supreme Court v. Indira Jaising has challenged the procedure for designating senior advocates in the Supreme Court[8]

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.[9]

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 [10][11][12]


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.[13] 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.[14] Her husband Anand Grover is a noted human rights lawyer and designated senior advocate of the Supreme Court.


  1. ^ a b c "Indira Jaising (India)" (PDF). United Nations Human Rights - Office of the High Commissioner. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  2. ^ "In a First an Indian Lawyer Makes It to Fortune's World's Greatest Leaders List: Indira Jaising Ranked 20 in the List on a Day She Faced Setback from SC". 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ "MHA cancels FCRA licences of 1,300 NGOs". Rahul Tripathi, ET Bureau. Economic Times. Economic Times. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  4. ^ PTI (7 December 2016). "Home Ministry cancels licence of Indira Jaising's NGO". The Hindu.
  5. ^ Correspondent, Special. "Defreeze accounts of Indira Jaisingh's NGO: HC". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Jaising Leads Protest Against Setalvad's 'Victimisation'".
  7. ^ Archived 27 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Krishnan, Murali (25 July 2016). "Supreme Court v. Indira Jaising: Supreme Court admits no Rules for Senior Designation but process 'fair and transparent' - Bar & Bench".
  9. ^ "Indian rights lawyer to lead U.N. probe into Rohingya crackdown". Reuters. 30 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Indira Jaising's NGO 'Lawyers Collective' suspended for 6 months". 1 June 2016.
  11. ^ PTI (1 June 2016). "FCRA licence of Indira Jaising's NGO suspended for 6 months". The Economic Times.
  12. ^ Correspondent, Special (June 2016). "Indira Jaising's NGO loses licence". The Hindu.
  13. ^ "Indira Jaising's NGO barred by MHA from receiving foreign funds for 6 months". 2 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.

External links[edit]

  • Woman Against Family - blog entry by Jaising written on the first anniversary of the domestic violence act
  • Contempt, the flavour of the season- Indira Jaising writes: Why Attorney General and the Central Government's contempt of court petitions against Advocate Prashant Bhushan stand on thin ice