NGT calls Sri Sri Ravi Shankar irresponsible

NGT calls Sri Sri Ravi Shankar irresponsible

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday came down heavily on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation for his remarks against the tribunal and the Union government.

It was hearing a case on the damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains by a cultural extravaganza organised by the foundation in March last year.

Earlier this week, in a combative post, Sri Sri had blamed the government and the tribunal for allowing the event.

On Thursday, the tribunal took strong exception to his remarks. “You have no sense of responsibility. Just because you have filed an application doesn’t give you the liberty to say whatever you want. It is shocking,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench reacted strongly when advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for petitioner Manoj Misra, brought to the tribunal’s notice Sri Sri’s statement, defending the three-day World Culture Festival held between March 11 and 13, 2016.

Parikh told the bench Sri Sri had been repeatedly levelling allegations against the tribunal, as seen in a statement posted on the Art of Living Foundation’s website and social media page. In the post, Sri Sri has said the government and the tribunal should be held responsible for any environmental damage caused by the event.
The counsel appearing for the foundation on Thursday contested the findings of an expert panel estimating the damage to the floodplains.

The bench then directed all parties to file responses and objections within two weeks, and posted the matter for hearing on May 9.

Earlier, an expert committee headed by former water resources secretary Shashi Shekhar told the tribunal a whopping Rs 42.02 crore was required to restore the Yamuna floodplains.

Biased, says AOL

Hours after the hearing on Thursday, the Art of Living Foundation issued a statement that it had requested the tribunal to hear its application on the ‘bias’ of the expert committee that had estimated the damage to the floodplains.

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