NGT rejects petition to use Art of Living funds

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Bengaluru, April 21: In a major respite to the Art of Living, the National Green Tribunal on Thursday rejected a plea to utilise the funds deposited by the foundation.

The petition was filed by an environmental activist Manoj Misra. The court also rejected Misra's request to hear the case without giving Art of Living a chance to put in their objections to the quantification report.

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Tribunal also did not act upon Misra's request to take action against the Art of Living for the opinion expressed by them on their website.

"Counsel of Manoj Misra read out the statement from the Art of Living website. The tribunal did not consider it. Media reports about the NGT coming down heavily on the Art of Living are not true," a statement from AOL said.

"Contrary to media reports, the Tribunal did not come down on us but in fact on Manoj Misra. None of the actions they wanted to be taken were allowed. In court, banter is irrelevant. What is relevant are the decisions, all of which when in our favour. Unfortunately, some sections of the media have misreported the case" the AoL said in a statement.

"We have faith in the judiciary and are confident that truth will prevail", it further added.

[Do you think you can say what you want? NGT asks Sri Sri Ravishankar]

During the hearing, lawyer Sanjay Parikh, representing petitioner Manoj Misra, said the initial amount of Rs five crore, which AOL had deposited as environment compensation, should be used for restoration of the damaged Yamuna floodplains.

The court, however, did not consider this and directed the AOL and other parties in the case to file their responses and objections on the expert panel's findings within two weeks after taking the report on record.

The counsel, appearing for the AOL foundation, contested the findings of the expert panel, saying they had certain objections to it and sought that the report be set aside. The next hearing is on May 9. On March 11 to March 13 last year, the NGT had allowed Art of Living to hold the three-day World Culture Festival on the Yamuna floodplains.

OneIndia News

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