The National Green Tribunal today issued a contempt notice to the Art of Living foundation's Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on a plea against him for blaming the Centre and the green panel for damaging Yamuna floodplains by allowing his NGO to hold a cultural extravaganza.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued the 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 AOL's website, Ravi Shankar had blamed the government and the NGT for permitting AOL 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, Misra said the AOL 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.
Last week, the NGT had slammed Sri Sri over his statement blaming the Centre and green panel for Yamuna floodplain damage.
“You have no sense of responsibility. Do you think you have the liberty to say whatever you want?” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said April 20.
The environment court went on to say that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's statement of alleged bias in NGT committee report on Yamuna riverbed damage is "shocking".
It had also directed the AOL and other parties to file reply and objections to expert panel report Yamuna flood plain damage due to the World Culture Festival, which was organised last year.
On this, Sri Sri had said that the AOL has not caused any damage to the Yamuna floodplains.
"The truth is we have caused no damage to the Yamuna. When lies are exposed, it is shocking. Those who say the Art of Living is irresponsible simply don't know us or have gained a sense of humour," he said.