Illustration courtesy: Greenpeace India

Greenpeace upbeat as HC directs Govt. to unblock Rs.1.87 Crore frozen funds

Greenpeace India has described the Delhi High Court order to the central government to unblock its Rs.1.87 crore as a “victory of democracy” and “free speech”.

“This (the court ruling) is a vindication of our work and the role that credible NGOs play in support of India’s development,” Greenpeace India executive director Samit Aich said.

“The court has deemed the government’s action as unconstitutional and has upheld the legitimacy of the issues Greenpeace takes up in India,” he said.

The environmental NGO hailed the court’s order as a “victory for democracy and free speech”.  Arundhati, a Greenpeace campaigner, had been at the Delhi High Court all day waiting for the hearing said, “We were all waiting with baited breath for the verdict huddled inside the video conference rooms at Delhi and Bangalore offices, our ears glued to the speakers.”

It all started in June 2014 when Greenpeace was barred but the Delhi High Court said that NGOs are entitled to have their viewpoint and merely because their views are not in consonance with the Government’s views it does not mean the NGO is acting to the detriment of the national interest.

About Rs.1.87 crore was blocked by the Reserve Bank of India following a directive from the home ministry in 2014. The NGO challenged it in court.

Noting that the home ministry’s action was arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional, Justice Rajiv Shakdher observed the government had replied that the NGO could access all foreign funds except that of Greenpeace International, which has been put on a watch-list.

The court also observed that no material was put on record against Greenpeace International.

In June last year, an Intelligence Bureau report alleged that Greenpeace India was misusing foreign funds to hamper India’s economic growth.

The home ministry then directed the RBI to put on hold all foreign contributions originating from Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation meant for Greenpeace India.

Greenpeace India Society alleged in the court that the action taken by the central government was without any reason.(IANS, Greenpeace)

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