SC notice on plea against fine on Art of Living for damage to Yamuna floodplains


New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Manoj Misra, a former forestry official on whose challenge the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a fine of Rs5 crore on Art of Living (AOL) Foundation for destroying the Yamuna floodplains.

AOL Foundation is led by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

The appeal was brought by Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI), a Chennai-based charitable trust founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, against a March order imposing a fine on the foundation for causing damage to the Yamuna floodplains in the course of hosting the World Culture Festival.

On 9 March 2016, the environment tribunal had allowed the AOL Foundation to hold its massive World Culture Festival on the banks of river Yamuna, and imposed a cost of Rs5 crore to be paid by the foundation as “restoration costs” for damaging the environment.

It also imposed a fine on various authorities.

Subsequently, the court said, the foundation would have to pay restoration costs for damage caused to the environment, ecology, biodiversity and aquatic life, which would be decided by a committee appointed by the court.

The tribunal while giving a go-ahead for the three-day event which took place from 11-13 March over a 1,000-acre area had directed the foundation to obtain pending permissions from the police, fire department, ministry of water resources and ministry of forests and environment.livemint