Greenpeace wants foreign donation sent to FCRA a/c: HC seeks Centre's reply

Greenpeace wants foreign donation sent to FCRA a/c: HC seeks Centre's reply

The Delhi High Court today sought responses from the Centre and IDBI Bank on Greenpeace India Society's application that a foreign donation of 148,608 Euros, sent by its head office, be credited to its FCRA account or be kept in a fixed deposit.

The government had cancelled Greenpeace's registration under Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) on grounds of allegedly violating the norms by opening five accounts to use foreign donations without informing concerned authorities.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had on April 9 this year suspended the NGO's registration under FCRA for 180 days.

Justice V P Vaish issued notice to the MHA and the bank asking them to give their replies before September 4.

The court, meanwhile, turned down Greenpeace request to pass an interim order, saying it will hear it on the date already fixed and "as of now interim order can't be passed".

Greenpeace India moved an application seeking an order "directing respondents 1 (MHA) and 2 (IDBI) to remit/transfer 148,608 Euros, that was blocked by the incidental measures impugned in the writ petition, transferred by Stichting Greenpeace Council (Greenpeace International) to petitioner's (Greenpeace India) FCRA account..."

In the alternative, the NGO has sought that till the matter was pending in court, "rupee equivalent" of the amount be kept in a fixed deposit interest bearing account.
As per MHA's directive, IDBI, ICICI and Yes Bank had frozen the NGO's accounts.

The court had on May 27 given relief to Greenpeace India by allowing it to use two of its accounts for the purpose of receiving and utilising fresh domestic donations for its day-to-day functioning.

It had also allowed the NGO to liquidate its fixed deposits, saying these and fresh donations be used for its aims and objectives and in accordance with law. The order had come on Greenpeace's plea challenging freezing of five of its accounts as well as cancellation of its registration under FCRA.

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