In a huge blow to Greenpeace India, the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS) has cancelled the NGO's license. The order was formally issued on November 4 and the NGO received the order copy on Friday.
The environmental NGO has been campaigning in India against air pollution and unsustainable use of natural resources, including water and forests for long.
Reacting to this, Vinuta Gopal Interim Executive Director of Greenpeace India said, "We are not bothered by this. They have acted in a manner that the court is unlikely to uphold (their actions.) They have ignored the process of natural justice. The Supreme court had ordered them to answer our questions. But they have not done so. We will go to court to seek relief."
"The RoS is clearly acting under directions from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi, which has been trying to shut Greenpeace India down for over a year now. The MHAā€™s clumsy tactics to suppress free speech and dissenting voices are turning into a major national and international embarrassment for this government. This is an extension of the deep intolerance for differing viewpoints that sections of this government seem to harbor," she said in a press statement.
"The Registrar has passed this order without granting Greenpeace a hearing, and without complying with the Madras High Court order to address each of our points and queries. This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the legal process and shows no respect for the law," she said.
"We are confident that we are on strong legal ground. We have faith in the legal process and are confident of overcoming this order,ā€¯ she added.
On September 2 Greenpeace India Society had challenged the order of the Union Home Ministry cancelling its license under FCRA (Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act, 2010.
On October 8, the Madras High court clarified that the order barring environmental NGO Greenpeace India Society from receiving foreign remittance would continue. A week before this, Justice Sundresh made it clear that the account of the petitioner on domestic contribution alone shall not be frozen and that they shall not receive any foreign remittance until further orders.