Home / Politics / Policy /  Greenpeace flouted FCRA, centre tells Delhi high court

The central government told the Delhi high court on Tuesday that non-profit Greenpeace India had violated the foreign contributions law.

In an affidavit, the home ministry defended its decision to cancel the foreign contribution registration of the organization by citing “serious violations" on three counts by Greenpeace—opening five “utilization accounts", merging foreign contributions with domestic donations, and using foreign contributions for administrative purposes. A utilization account, according to the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976, or FCRA, is one through which an organization can access foreign contributions.

The government was responding to a notice issued on 18 May by justice Rajiv Shakdher. Greenpeace had moved the court challenging the freeze. It argued that the home ministry had acted unconstitutionally and illegally to damage its reputation.

On Tuesday, Greenpeace said the move to freeze its domestic funds and accounts caused it a loss of 1.25 crore in May and it was set to lose a similar amount in June. It said the government did not have the power to stop domestic contributions under the FCRA, adding that contributions from nearly 75,000 Indians had been rejected by banks where it has its accounts.

Arguing for the government, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain said Greenpeace had acted in contravention of the law as the FCRA didn’t allow the merging of domestic and foreign contributions. The government had ordered the freezing of seven accounts of Greenpeace India. It also stopped Greenpeace India from getting contributions from its parent, Greenpeace International.

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