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Bangalore Feb 22: The Karnataka High Court has quashed the freezing of accounts of Greenpeace India by the Enforcement Directorate, holding the order of freezing to be null and void. Funding to the environmental watchdog from thousands of Indian citizens had been blocked following an unlawful raid by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) at their Bangalore office in October 2018, but the same has now been permitted by the order of the High Court which has directed immediate defreezing of Greenpeace India’s account.

Diya Deb, Campaign Director at Greenpeace India, said:

“We welcome the Karnataka High Court’s decision to unfreeze the bank accounts of Greenpeace India. The decision not only strengthens our belief in democractic values and constitutional propriety but also attests our stand that the organisation functions in accordance with Indian laws and for the benefit of society at large. We hope that the attempts to shut us down will continue to be thwarted by the Courts which recognize our Constitutional right to work for the benefit of environment and ecology”

On 14th February, 2019, Karnataka High Court made an observation that, “the impugned notice dated 05.10.2018 has lost its efficacy on account of efflux of time as the period of 60 days has expired.” Thus, “the impugned order dated 05.10.2018 is hereby quashed and the writ petition is disposed of.”

“Every month Greenpeace India receives donations from thousands of environmentally conscious Indian donors who want a safe, secure and a sustainable future for India and planet Earth. The freezing of bank accounts led to a financial crisis – it forced us to reduce our workforce substantially, leading to livelihood problems for former staff., many of whom continue to work as volunteers.

“The Court’s decision to quash the Enforcement Directorate’s arbitrary order emboldens our spirit to continue our critical campaign to mitigate climate change, reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable future. India is not only an environmentally vulnerable country, but also has the potential to be a climate leader if it can hold itself and the rest of the world accountable in addressing climate change. Greenpeace India will continue to represent the voices of millions of supporters, volunteers and donors who want to protect the environment.”

Deb added: “Most importantly we thank all our supporters, donors, civil society allies, volunteers, activists, individual citizens and others for standing in solidarity with us in tough times. We also continue to stand in solidarity with the civil society organizations and activists who face harassment for having the courage to voice dissent.”

Notes:

  1. https://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/greenpeace/2057/greenpeace-india-fearlessly-and-financially-independent/
  2. https://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/greenpeace/3194/karnataka-hc-grants-partial-relief-to-greenpeace-india-but-ed-harassment-continues-on-environmental-watchdog/
  3. https://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/greenpeace/3283/government-crackdown-forces-greenpeace-india-to-cut-back-work-on-climate-change/
  4. https://www.greenpeace.org/india/en/issues/environment/3370/you-cannot-sink-a-rainbow-high-spirited-greenpeace-india-staff-members-echo-after-being-forced-to-downsize/

 

Contacts:

 

Rohin Verma, 7290027010, rohin.kumar@greenpeace.org

Avinash Chanchal, 8882153664, avinash.kumar@greenpeace.org

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