Home Ministry faux pas: Renews then cancels FCRA licence of Greenpeace India, Teesta Setalvad's NGO

The Union Home Ministry renewed Greenpeace India's registration under the Foreign Contributions Registrations Act, (FCRA) 2010 after permanently cancelling its licence in September 2015.

Greenpeace India's executive director Ravi Chellam, speaking to The Times of India said that they had applied for the renewal of the licence in March 2016 and it was renewed with effect from 1 November, 2016.

 Home Ministry faux pas: Renews then cancels FCRA licence of Greenpeace India, Teesta Setalvads NGO

Representational image. Image courtesy: Greenpeace.org

The Islamic Research Foundation's licence, Zakir Naik's organisation was also mistakenly renewed in August because the FCRA software doesn't have a provision to flag pending inquiries or adverse intelligence reports against NGOs under scanner.

Even, the licence of activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGO, Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP) was renewed, reported The Indian Express. The NGO was under for alleged misuse of grants.

According to CNN-News 18, the MHA has ordered an enquiry and cancelled the renewal.

According to The Times of India, the ministry only noticed the erroneous renewal of Greenpeace India's licence after 1 November, 2016.

The organisation was under the ministry's scanner which cited that Greenpeace India was receiving "mixed foreign and domestic funds" and had "not disclosed the movement of funds properly," according to a report in The Indian Express.

The Times of India report said that Greenpeace India had cancelled the licence on grounds of affecting public interest and economic interest.

The report added that the MHA had suspended the registration of the NGO saying it had violated norms, alleging that Greenpeace India had opened five accounts to use foreign donations without disclosing it to the relevant authorities. The NGOs bank accounts in IDBI, ICICI and Yes Bank were frozen. Greenpeace India had challenged the decision calling it arbitrary and it was granted relief by the court on 27 May, 2016.

The NGO has always maintained that the suspension was government's way of controlling dissent. Vinuta Gopal quoted in The Indian Express after the suspension said: “The cancelling of our FCRA registration is the government’s latest move in a relentless onslaught against the community’s right to dissent. It is yet another attempt to silence campaigns for a more sustainable future and transparency in public processes.”

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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2016 18:47:16 IST