Attempt to 'silence'? Greenpeace suspects MHA hand in TN notice
Hitting back at Tamil Nadu government's notice threatening to cancel its registration, Greenpeace India said on Thursday that it will move court against the state government and alleged that the "perversely framed and maliciously designed" charges were levelled at the behest of Union Home ministry.
Denying any "wrongdoing", the NGO, which received a notice on June 18 for alleged breach of Tamil Nadu state government regulations on registered societies, said the the charges were "baseless and arbitrary" and it was a target of "hostile discrimination".
"Greenpeace India will soon legally challenge malicious charges outlined in a notice threatening the cancellation of its society's registration."
"The perversely framed and maliciously designed charges in the notice from the Registrar of Societies in Tamil Nadu state are baseless and arbitrary. The Registrar's actions suggest it is acting on direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs," the NGO said in a statement.
The central government has already barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds by suspending its licence for six months and freezing all its accounts after alleging that it has "prejudicially" affected the country's interests.
The environmental NGO alleged that the notice appears to have been sent at the request of the ministry of Home Affairs, which has been trying to "silence" it "for more than a year without success".
"We have been the subject of a string of penalties imposed by the MHA, all of which have been overturned by the Delhi high court. Now, the MHA is trying to shut us down through other means.
"We're requesting the registrar to provide further information to enable us to quash these latest charges against us," Greenpeace India's interim co-executive director Vinuta Gopal said.
The NGO said it has since written to the registrar several times seeking clarifications and time to respond in full but has so far failed to receive any respond.
It said that just because the registrar had concluded that the charges were sufficient to warrant the cancellation of the society's registration, it had "prejudged" the case and was not interested in any clarifications.