Blocking of Greenpeace funds High Court issues notice to Centre
Aggrieved by the Union government’s “financial scrutiny” that led to blocking of its foreign funds, environmental group Greenpeace India has challenged in the Delhi High Court the prohibition on transfer of foreign contributions to its FCRA bank account. The non-governmental organisation has claimed that the decision on blocking of funds was never communicated to it.
The High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and directed it to keep the frozen foreign donations as “interest-earning fixed deposit” till further orders. The court asked the Ministry to file a reply on whether the foreign contributions to the tune of € 2,35,000 should be allowed to be credited in Greenpeace India’s account with the IDBI Bank in Chennai.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru of the High Court asked the MHA to file its counter-affidavit within three weeks and posted the matter to October 10.
The Greenpeace petition contended that any order prohibiting the receipt of foreign contributions could have been passed only after providing a hearing to the recipient.
Prohibition could be imposed only if the Centre was satisfied that the acceptance of foreign funds was likely to affect the country’s sovereignty and integrity.