HC reserves order on Greenpeace activist's plea against offloading

The Delhi High Court Thursday reserved its order on a plea filed by Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai challenging her offloading Jan 11 at the airport here.

IANS| Updated: Feb 20, 2015, 00:10 AM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday reserved its order on a plea filed by Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai challenging her offloading Jan 11 at the airport here.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher reserved the order after advocates for the central government and Pillai concluded their arguments in the case.

Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh appearing for Pillai objected to the government's move and told the court that the Greenpeace activist has a fundamental right to express her opinion on issues both nationally and internationally.

"There is no law that has been invoked by the government to justify their action of preventing her from exercising her fundamental right of speech and expression before members of parliament in Britain," she told the court.

The central government had earlier told the court that Pillai has been "involved in anti-national activities" and that was why she was offloaded at the airport here, when she was going to London to attend a meeting.

The central government had offloaded Pillai and issued Look Out Circular (LOC), against which she moved the court.

Jaisingh argued that LOC was issued "without any authority of law".

The high court has termed "inappropriate" the central government's decision to prevent Pillai from leaving India on the ground that she would project a negative image of the country at the international level.

In her petition, she said that her offloading was "illegal and arbitrary" and she had a valid business visa for six months to visit London where she was scheduled to address British parliamentarians Jan 14.

Pillai was invited by British MPs to talk about her campaign with local communities in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh, where a proposed coal mining project is threatening to uproot the lives and livelihood of the community.