Yamuna damage: NGT 'shocked' over Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's blame game

He wanted Centre, green panel and Delhi govt to be held responsible

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Pic/AP

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal yesterday slammed the Art of Living (AoL) over its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar blaming the Centre and the green panel for damage to the Yamuna floodplains, terming it as "shocking".

"You have no sense of responsibility. Who gave you liberty to speak whatever you want to? It is shocking," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The observations came after advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for petitioner Manoj Misra, informed the bench about Ravi Shankar's recent statement blaming the government and the NGT for permitting his NGO to hold the World Culture Festival on the floodplains of river Yamuna.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's three-day extravaganza in March last year on the banks of the Yamuna had grabbed headlines for allegedly polluting and harming the ecosystem. PIC/AP
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's three-day extravaganza in March last year on the banks of the Yamuna had grabbed headlines for allegedly polluting and harming the ecosystem. Pic/AP

Parikh told the green bench that the spiritual guru has gone to the extent of levelling allegations against the NGT. The lawyer said Ravi Shankar had posted the statement on the website of AoL, his Facebook page and also addressed the media on the same in a written statement.

The counsel appearing for the AoL foundation, however, contested the findings of the expert panel and said that they have certain objections with regard to the findings of the committee and sought setting aside of the report.

The bench then directed the foundation and other parties in the case to file their response and objection within two weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on May 9.

On April 18, Ravi Shankar had blamed the government and the NGT for permitting AoL to hold the festival on the Yamuna river bed and said they should be held responsible if any environmental damage was caused.

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