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HC notice to MHA on Greenpeace funding

Greenpeace had filed a writ petition demanding answers from the MHA on the “arbitrary” prohibition of foreign funds.

By: Express News Service | Published: September 4, 2014 1:43:11 am

The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the MHA on a plea by Greenpeace India against a decision to block the funds received by the NGO from abroad.

Greenpeace India had filed a writ petition last week demanding answers from the MHA on the “arbitrary” prohibition of foreign funds.

The court of Justice Vibhu Bakhru directed the MHA to file a reply on whether the foreign contributions of 23,5000 euros (Rs 1.87 crore) be allowed to be credited in the NGO’s account with IDBI bank in Chennai.

“The money will be kept in interest-earning fixed deposit account with the Respondent No. 2 (IDBI Bank Limited), till further order of this court,” Justice Bakhru said and fixed the matter for hearing on October 10.

The court, meanwhile, asked the ministry to file its counter affidavit within three weeks. Jasmeet Singh, standing counsel for the ministry, informed the court that he will seek instructions and file a short affidavit.

The Greenpeace India Society in its petition alleged that the Centre has taken action “without any rhyme or reason and without complying with the provisions of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act”. The ministry has directed the RBI to take prior permission from its FCRA department before clearing any foreign aid to it from Greenpeace International and Climate Works.

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