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Greenpeace India to challenge

New Delhi, July 23 (RDI IBNS): Greenpeace India will soon legally challenge "malicious charges" outlined in a notice threatening the cancellation of its society's registration.

Greenpeace India received the notice on June 18 for an alleged breach of Tamil Nadu state government regulations around registered societies. The NGO has, however, denied any wrongdoing. Greenpeace India said the perversely framed and maliciously designed charges in the notice from the Registrar of Societies in Tamil Nadu state are baseless and arbitrary. The Registrars actions suggest it is acting on direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The NGO said that because the Registrar had concluded that the charges were sufficient to warrant the cancellation of the societys registration, the Registrar had prejudged the case and is not interested in any clarifications. Instead, Greenpeace India is the target of hostile discrimination. We are a legitimate organisation that has been operating legally in India for over 14 years. This absurd notice lacks legal basis and instead appears to have been sent at the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has been trying to silence us for more than a year without success, Greenpeace India interim co-Executive Director Vinuta Gopal said. Weve been the subject of a string of penalties imposed by the MHA, all of which have been overturned by the Delhi High Court. Now, the MHA is trying to shut us down through other means. Were requesting the Registrar to provide further information to enable us to quash these latest charges against us. The notice alleged Greenpeace India Society is under the control of Stichting Green Peace Council of the Netherlands. It also alleged inconsistencies between disclosures of foreign funding made to the MHA with respect to the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) and to the Registrar of Societies in its annual accounts. We fully co-operated with inspections of our societys office because we have nothing to hide. We will be challenging this notice so we can focus again on our important work: running our campaigns for clean air, clean water and clean electricity for all Indians, Gopal added. The NGO has written to the Registrar several times seeking clarifications and time to respond in full. But the Registrar has so far failed to respond, Greenpeace said. Failing or refusing to respond to our requests for clarifications, information and an inspection of the Registrars records amounts to a deliberate denial of natural justice, denying us the right to defend ourselves, Gopal added.

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