Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news

Why the MHA cancelled Greenpeace India’s FCRA registration

Smrithi Suresh

The Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court

Greenpeace India’s troubles with the Indian Government continue; this time around it is the cancellation of the NGO’s FCRA registration.

In an affidavit filed before the Delhi High Court, the Ministry of Home has stated the cancellation was due to a number of statutory violations.

More specifically, according to the MHA, Greenpeace India has made the following violations:

1. Greenpeace did not take the requisite permission before transferring funds from FCRA Utilization account to another account

2. It mentioned incorrect amounts of foreign contributions that were received by the organization and received money from numerous accounts, as opposed to one scheduled bank account.

3. It also failed to comply with restrictions imposed by the Act on utilization of foreign contributions for administrative purposes, by withdrawing more than 25% of un-utilized amount and thereby violating the Court’s orders of May 27, 2015.

4. No prior intimation was provided by Greenpeace to the Government regarding the source, amount, manner and purpose of utilizing the foreign contribution that was received.

The Union has also claimed in its reply that Greenpeace “mixed its foreign and domestic contributions”.

The MHA affidavit also said that Greenpeace was given “multiple opportunities” to present its case, and it was only after “carefully examining” the replies did the ministry go ahead with the cancellation.

The reply comes in the background of a plea filed by Greenpeace challenging the freezing of its bank accounts. The Delhi HC had at that time, directed the Govt to allow Greenpeace for accessing two of its accounts for the purpose of paying salaries to the staff etc.

 The matter that was scheduled to be heard was adjourned to September 17 by Justice VP Vaish.