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Greenpeace fund freeze: HC seeks govt reply

The court has also issued a notice to and sought reply from three banks—-IDBI, ICICI and Yes Bank, which, complying with Home Ministry’s directives, had freezed the NGO’s accounts.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 19, 2015 2:48 am

The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the Centre’s response on Greenpeace India’s plea challenging suspension of its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration and freeze on its bank accounts.

Seeking Centre’s response, Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the government counsel to take instructions on whether funds of Greenpeace’s domestic accounts can be released for its day-to-day running, including for paying salaries of its volunteers.

The court has also issued a notice to and sought reply from three banks—-IDBI, ICICI and Yes Bank, which, complying with Home Ministry’s directives, had freezed the NGO’s accounts.

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During the proceedings, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the NGO, argued that the purpose behind freezing of NGO’s domestic accounts was to stop it from paying salaries to its employees and volunteers and that the salaries have not been paid since April 9, as it has no funds for day-to-day activities. The counsel also asked from where the government got the power to freeze the accounts.

The court then told the MHA counsel: “Insofar as salaries and other expenses are concerned, something has to be done. Take instructions.”

It has now asked the NGO to file an affidavit indicating details of its day-to-day expenses, including salaries to the NGO’s volunteers. The matter is listed for hearing on May 26.

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