New Delhi: Hailing the Delhi High Court's decision to unblock its foreign funds that were frozen last year by the Union Home Ministry, Greenpeace India on Tuesday said the order was a "vindication" of their work and "the role that credible NGOs play" in supporting the country's development.
The decision is a "victory for democracy and free speech," the NGO said soon after Delhi High Court directed the Centre to unblock foreign funds to the tune of Rs 1.87 crore received by it.
"This is a vindication of our work and the role that credible NGOs play in support of India's development," said Samit Aich, Executive Director of Greenpeace India.
Aich said that the HC decision has come at a crucial time when sections of the government seem determined on "harassing us and other NGOs".
"We are glad that the court ruled that the government's actions were mala fide and had absolutely no basis in law. This is a strong signal from the judiciary that the government must cease its campaign of harassment of civil society," he said.
The HC ruling came days after Greenpeace India campaigner Priya Pillai was allegedly prevented from boarding her flight to London on January 11.
She was on her way to address British parliamentarians about the legal and human rights violations in Mahan in Madhya Pradesh, where a London-registered company hopes to build a coal mine.
"Greenpeace India is predominantly funded by Indians, run by Indians and focuses on environmental problems in India," Aich said and asked the government to work in tandem with civil society instead of feeling threatened by it.
"It is only through cooperation with civil society that the government can achieve its mandate of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'," Aich said.