WCF row: NGT asks Art of Living to pay fine by 5 PM Friday; Sri Sri says 'ready to go to jail'

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday asked The Art of Living to pay Rs 5 crore fine by 5 PM on Friday.

Last Updated: Mar 11, 2016, 00:48 AM IST
WCF row: NGT asks Art of Living to pay fine by 5 PM Friday; Sri Sri says 'ready to go to jail'

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday asked The Art of Living to pay Rs 5 crore fine by 5 PM on Friday. However, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said that they will not pay any fine, rather he is ready to go to jail. 

Earlier, the NGT had said that if The Art of Living doesn't pay the penalty of Rs 5 crore to the DDA, it could revoke clearance for the three-day World Culture Festival beginning on Friday.

The Art of Living Foundation says it will challenge the order of the National Green Tribunal imposing a fine of Rs five crore on it as environmental compensation while clearing the decks for its three-day cultural extravaganza.

The NGT on Wednesday had given its consent for the event, but imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crores on the Art of Living Foundation for damaging the environment.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swantanter Kumar asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to file an affidavit and spell out why no environmental clearance is needed for raising temporary structures.

The direction came after the counsel appearing for the Ministry of Environment and Forests said that they have found no debris when an expert team visited the site. The counsel added that as per Environment Impact Assessment notification 2006, no environment clearance is needed for temporary structures. 

As activists raked up the question of serious environmental violations on account of the event in which about 35 lakh people are expected to participate, President Pranab Mukherjee has already pulled out of the valedictory function on Sunday in which he was to speak.

There was still speculation whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will open it on Friday. He is yet to take a decision whether to attend the inaugural function, official sources said.