The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to respond on Greenpeace where the plea is challenged against the suspension of its registration and freezing the bank accounts which includes both foreign and domestic aids. The government counsel was asked by Justice Rajiv Shakdher, if the funds in domestic account of Greenpeace could be released to pay the salaries of volunteers working for it and for other day to day activities of it. Looking into the salaries and other expenses some action has to be taken was the instruction of the court to the lawyer who appeared for MHA. Along with the centre’s reaction on this court also sought reply from ICICI, IDBI and YES bank by issuing notices to the said banks that complied with Home Ministry’s (MHA) directive and had frozen the account of the NGO.
Court asked Greenpeace to file affidavit and to state the day to day expenses involved and to provide the details about the salaries that was paid to the volunteers or workers in the NGO and then listed the matter on May 26 for hearing. Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam who had attended the hearing and appeared on behalf of NGO said that the main purpose of freezing their account was to make the payments and salaries of the volunteers to be stopped. Since April 9 the salaries were not paid to the volunteers as there was lack of fund in the NGO for its day to day activity. Subramaniam told that MHA’s directing to the banks not to credit the donations that were put into NGO’s account were subterranean and such misuse of power must be stopped and corrected. He also further questioned as to where did the government get such power to freeze the NGO account. On 9 April, under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) MHA had suspended the NGO’s registration for 180 days was stated by Greenpeace in its plea. The main issue here was in democracy, can the government tolerate dissent. Earlier the Delhi High Court had cleared the Greenpeace establishment of any wrongdoings and so Subramaniam has contended that Suspension of the Greenpeace registration under Section 13 and 14 of FCRA shows the arrogant use of power.
by Sushma Javare.