Skip to main content

Greenpeace's sixth legal victory: Madras High Court "unconditionally" stays Tamil Nadu order canceling registration

Greenpeace andriod app to "battle" air pollution
By Our Representative
In a major relief to Greenpeace India, the Madras High Court has stayed a government order canceling the top environmental NGO’s registration. Staying the order, the High Court observed that the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS) did not follow principles of natural justice.
The NGO was represented in the High Court by senior advocate PS Raman, supported by Vineet Subramani. Raman, represented Greenpeace India Society pro bono (without fee), said that he was “happy” that the court had granted an “unconditional stay of the cancellation of registration.”
Welcoming the stay, Greenpeace said, “This is the sixth time in the last year and a half that Greenpeace and its activists have succeeded against multiple attempts to restrict its operations and funding, as well as to shut it down. The courts have consistently found to be in favour of Greenpeace India.”
“We were confident the courts would agree that Greenpeace is on sound legal footing and has done nothing wrong, notwithstanding the government’s ridiculous allegations of fraud in this instance. Our accounts are an open book and on our website for all to inspect,” said Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India.
“The MHA’s clumsy tactics, to suppress free speech and dissenting voices, are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government,” she added.
Greenpeace India Society early this month received a notice from the Tamil Nadu RoS, summarily announcing cancellation of its registration as a society. The cancellation of registration came at a time when several international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary-General, had insisted on upholding the importance of civil society in healthy democracies.
The Tamil Nadu move followed an order, issued on September 2, by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), which meant that the NGO would not be able to receive any kind of foreign donations.
The MHA decision came in the wake of “prejudicially affecting the public interest and economic interest of the state which violated the conditions of grant of registration”, said sources.
Vinuta Gopal, interim co-Executive Director of Greenpeace India, described the state has part of the nationwide “crackdown on civil liberties”, adding, the cancellation of the organisation’s FCRA registration was the “government’s latest move in a relentless onslaught against the community’s right to dissent.”
On April 10, the government had suspended Greenpeace India’s licence to receive foreign donations, citing reasons such as “talks” with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), attempts to “delay and place illegal obstructions to India’s energy plans”, “campaigning, protesting and lobbying against government of India’s policies”, an anti-nuclear “full page colour advertisement in The Hindu with a sarcasm-laced header”.
Amidst the crackdown, the NGO worked towards “clean air, clean water and clean energy”, Greenpeace India statement said, adding, one of the important steps was to launch “a free android-based mobile application that alerts citizens to take precaution against dangerous levels of air pollution across the country.”
The NGO, during the period, interestingly, supported the government’s move to reduce greenhouse gas emission by about 35 per cent till 2030. More recently, it supported the campaign for protecting traditional forms of mustard against an imminent threat from genetically modified mustard.
Pillai said, “As a people powered organisation, instead of fighting and winning legal battles, we would much rather continue to contribute to solve India’s serious development challenges - air pollution, disappearing forests, the need for safe food and clean electricity for all.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”