New Delhi: Days after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) allowed the three-day cultural extravaganza of the Art of Living Foundation on the floodplains of the Yamuna river citing delay by petitioners, a fresh plea has been filed before it seeking a review of its order.
The green panel on 9 March had refused to prohibit the World Culture Festival held under the patronage of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar but slapped a fine of Rs.5 crore on his Art of Living Foundation for damaging biodiversity and aquatic life of Yamuna.
The plea filed by Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan has challenged the NGT order which had dismissed his petition on the ground of “delay and laches on the part of the applicant in approaching the Tribunal.”
“It is submitted that the question of delay and latches would apply when an applicant watches the violation and springs into action after the construction is substantially completed. That is not the case here.
“In the present case the construction by AOL was in violation of the Tribunal’s judgment dated January 13, 2015 which was immediately brought to the notice of the Tribunal by the applicant as a vigilant person.
“The question of delay and latches would not apply if the tribunal had stayed further development on 8th February 2016, the damage which took place subsequently till passing of the order dated March 9 would not have occurred,” the plea, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, said.
Mishra has further said that he had also written a letter to lieutenant governor of Delhi and the Delhi Development Authority pointing out that there was a legal injunction on any new construction on the flood plain.
“The applicant informed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of AOL about the NGT’s order and that the principal committee appointed by the NGT is implementing the river flood plain restoration plan. Copies of these letters were given to Shashi Shekher, chairman NGT appointed Principal Committee. However, none of them responded to the Applicant’s letter. This Hon’ble Court allow review of the order dated 9.3.2016 passed in OA No. 65 of 2016 to the extent agitated in the Review Petition in the interest of justice and to prevent miscarriage of justice,” the plea said.