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National Green Tribunal issues contempt notice against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The National Green Tribunal has issued a contempt notice to spiritual figure Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for blaming government and green panel for damaging Yamuna floodplains.

The notices were issued after a contempt petition was moved against the spiritual leader for holding the union government and green panel responsible for the damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notice to Ravi Shankar while seeking his reply before May 9, the next date of hearing.

The plea filed by activist Manoj Misra has sought action against Ravi Shankar and said his remarks interfered with with free and fair dispensation of justice.

In a statement published on the Art of Living’s website, Ravi Shankar had blamed the government and the NGT for permitting Art of Living to hold the function and said his foundation had obtained all necessary permissions, including from the green panel, and the event could have been stopped in the beginning itself if the river was so “fragile and pure”.

In the plea filed through advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, Mr. Misra said the Art of Living head was “in the habit” of making statements to “denigrate the dignity and status of this tribunal, which was an interference in the fair dispensation of justice”, that is the bedrock of the rule of law.

Earlier, the green panel had slammed AOL’s Ravi Shankar for his statement blaming the government and NGT for damage to the Yamuna floodplains, alling it as ‘shocking’ and that he has no sense of responsibility.

An expert committee had told the NGT that a whopping Rs. 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains, while also suggesting that there would be two components of rehabilitation plan – physical and biological, and they would cost Rs. 28.73 crore and Rs. l3.29 crore respectively, besides additional ancillary expenses.

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