Greenpeace strongly rebuts MHA allegations; demands unblocking of domestic accounts

Press release - May 8, 2015
New Delhi, May 8th, 2015 -- Greenpeace India today submitted a comprehensive rebuttal[1] to allegations contained in the MHA’s ‘show cause notice’, dated April 9th and has demanded the immediate unblocking of its domestic bank accounts. The document was delivered in person this morning by an official delegation from Greenpeace India.

“We are confident that this response establishes our legitimacy beyond any doubt” said Samit Aich, executive director, Greenpeace India. “We have addressed every allegation made against us, and responded in a transparent and honest way throughout. In contrast, the MHA has used unfounded allegations and arbitrary penalties in a blatant attempt to silence us. We remain proud of our campaigns for clean air, water and affordable energy, and refuse to be intimidated by such dirty tricks.”

According to Greenpeace India, the show cause notice is riddled with clerical errors, as well as unfounded allegations that undermine the MHA’s position. Greenpeace also accused the MHA of failing to respond to its own requests for documents and ‘leaking misinformation to the media instead of abiding by the principles of natural justice’. 

Greenpeace India has produced a full media briefing containing its key arguments. These include:

  • How some of the MHA’s allegations relate to transactions that occurred several years before the 2010 FCRA act was even signed into law. And yet the Ministry attempts to apply this law retrospectively, which is clearly not justified.
  • How the home ministry blocked funds sent from Greenpeace International on March 23, despite the Delhi High court order of January 20, 2015, which held that to deny access to those funds ‘invoked principles of natural justice’. Greenpeace India says it is now considering appropriate legal action.

Aich continued: “We have been operating in India for over 14 years and have filed our accounts properly and reliably throughout this time. The MHA’s current attack simply does not stand up to scrutiny, and we are confident that expert analysis will support that claim. Let’s be clear: this is not about spreadsheets and sums. It is a cynical attempt to shut Greenpeace down by a ministry that lacks the courage to come out and say so directly.”

Earlier today, members of prominent civil society organisations addressed a press conference in Delhi to protest against the orchestrated clampdown on NGOs like Greenpeace. The groups have also written an open letter to the prime minister asking him to intervene to uphold democracy and the right to dissent.

ENDS

[1] Full Greenpeace India response to MHA show cause notice: http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/2015/Frozen/Formal_response_to_show_cause_notice.pdf

[2] Greenpeace short media briefing on its response to MHA: http://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/Press/Media-Briefing-Greenpeace-Indias-response-to-MHAs-show-cause-notice-of-9th-April-2015/

Contact:

Anindita Datta Choudhury: Communication Specialist, Greenpeace India; +91 9871515804;

Avinash Chanchal: Communication Specialist, Greenpeace India; +91 8359826363;

Jitendra Kumar: Communication Specialist, Greenpeace India; +91 9868167337;