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Supreme Court junks plea seeking to stop World Culture Festival


New Delhi, Mar 10: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking its direction to stop the three-day mega event, World Culture Festival, at the banks of Yamuna river being organised by the Art Of Living Foundation (AOL) of spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur asked the petitioner Bhartiya Kishan Majdoor Samiti to approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with its plea as the three-day event is all set to begin on Friday.

Also read: NGT warns Art of Living to pay Rs 5 cr fine by 4pm today

SC refuses to hear plea on WCF

"This preparation is going on for a long time. Why have you come now? Why don't you go to the NGT," the bench said. The bench also raised apprehension on the motive of filing such a petition at the eleventh hour, saying, "So you seek publicity out of it?"

The petition alleged that no requisite permissions have been granted by various authorities concerned to this proposed event. The NGT on Wednesday, Mar 9 expressed its helplessness in banning the event, saying it was "fait accompli".

Nevertheless, it imposed a fine of Rs five crores on AOL as environmental compensation after coming down heavily on the foundation for not disclosing its full plans and also on the DDA and Environment Ministry for their role.

Also read: Another blow to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as Robert Mugabe pulls out of WCF

The green tribunal, which found several environmental violations committed by the organisers, blamed the delay on the part of environmental activists in raising the issue before it which compelled it to grant permission for event.

The NGT clearance came on a day the Delhi High Court described the event, from whose valedictory function the President has already pulled out, as a "disaster" from the ecological point of view.


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