Major blow for AOL as NGT rejects compensation plea

Photo: Official Website of Art of Living Foundation
In a major blow to Art of Living foundation (AOL), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday rejected its plea to pay the compensation of Rs 4.75 crore by bank guarantee, for the violation of environment norms during a cultural event organised in March.

The AOL, in its application, had stated that it is in the process of preparing a proposal laying down parameters and methodology for collection of scientific data and evidence regarding assessment of actual environmental damage, if any, and hopes to persuade NGT that, "damage, if any, is neither permanent nor irreversible but in fact remediable".

The NGT stated that the AOL foundation lacks bonafide as it did not stay on its commitment to pay the fine. The tribunal said that AOL has been engaging in multiple litigation in order to not pay the fine.

On March 9, the NGT had refused to prohibit the World Culture Festival on the banks of the Yamuna river, but slapped a fine of Rs 5 crore on the foundation for damaging the biodiversity of the ecologically sensitive Yamuna floodplains.

On May 10, the foundation had issued a clarification over a NGT notice to its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for his alleged remarks against the green panel, saying the allegations against the spiritual leader were 'completely false' and based merely on 'newspaper reports'.

The NGT issued a notice to Ravi Shankar for his alleged remarks, that the fine imposed by the green panel for organising an event on banks of river Yamuna was politically motivated.

The NGT had asked why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him and had directed Ravi Shankar to file a reply to it latest by May 25.

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