Karnataka High Court quashes ED freeze on Greenpeace Bank Accounts
The Karnataka High Court has quashed the order of Enforcement Directorate (ED) which froze the bank accounts of Greenpeace India. The court noted that the validity of the ED order has lost its efficacy on account of efflux of time as the period of 60 days has expired.
The accounts of the Greenpeace India were frozen on the account of the alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). The freezing of accounts had led to a financial crisis for the organisation and forced it to reduce its workforce substantially.
Why the accounts were frozen?
The Enforcement Directorate had alleged that Greenpeace India had incorporated Direct Dialogue Initiatives India Pvt Ltd (DDIIPL) in 2016 after the Central government had cancelled Greenpeace India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licence in September 2015 for allegedly violating norms.
The ED argues that DDIIPL was created to facilitate the operational activities of Greenpeace. ED also alleged that DDIIPL spent around Rs 21 crore for its expenses since it was set up, “with no substantial revenue generation so far”.
Greenpeace India had strongly objected to the ED claims and had stated they would provide the government authorities with required financial details as they do not have anything to hide. Alleging the claims of ED as false and frivolous, Greenpeace India had said that false claims and accusations were part of a larger design to muzzle democratic dissent in the country and had challenged the order of ED in the Karnataka High Court.
Greenpeace India is the Indian arm of the international NGO Greenpeace. The NGO mainly works in the area of environmental conservation. Greenpeace through non-violent, creative confrontation aims to expose environmental problems and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.
Topics: DDIIPL • Direct Dialogue Initiatives India Pvt Ltd • ED • Enforcement Directorate • Environmental conservation • FEMA • Foreign Exchange Management Act • Greenpeace India • Karnataka High Court