Govt cancels FCRA registration, Greenpeace faces shutdown

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 04, 2015 09:00 IST

The government has cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India under the foreign contribution regulation act (FCRA), making it ineligible to receive funds from abroad that could force the NGO to close down operations.

In an affidavit submitted to the Delhi high court on Thursday, the home ministry said Greenpeace violated FCRA by mixing its foreign and domestic contributions.

The NGO, which has accused the Centre of trying to shut it down, termed the government action an attempt to silence campaigns and said it will not be deterred.

The high court is to hear on Friday a Greenpeace plea challenging the suspension of its licence under FCRA apart from freezing of its bank accounts.

Greenpeace’s FCRA registration was suspended on April 9 for allegedly violating norms by opening five accounts to use foreign donations without informing the authorities.

The order virtually crippled the NGO because it not only led to freezing of its accounts that received foreign funds but also five domestic accounts.

The court had on May 27 allowed it the use two of its accounts for receiving and utilising domestic donations for day-to-day functioning.

“Earlier, the FCRA registration was under suspension. However, after this cancellation order, the NGO will have to wind up its operations in India,” a government source said.

Cancellation would mean that the NGO will not receive funds from abroad that are up to 30% of its overall cost of operations.

“Canceling of our FCRA registration is the government’s latest move in a relentless onslaught against the community’s right to dissent. It is yet another attempt to silence campaigns for a more sustainable future and transparency in public processes,” Greenpeace India’s interim co-executive director Vinuta Gopal said.

They would respond to the latest order by launching a new campaign to highlight the nationwide crackdown on civil liberties, he said.

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