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Will go to jail but not pay a penny: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on NGT fine

"We have not done anything wrong. We have been taintless and will remain so. We we will go to jail but not pay a penny," said Ravi Shankar.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: March 10, 2016 5:17 pm
Ravi Shankar, ravi shankar fine, art of living, art of living fine, yamuna festival, yamuna festival fine, NGT, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar The NGT on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs five crore on AOL as environmental compensation while clearing the decks for its three-day cultural extravaganza.

The Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday sounded defiant saying he would rather go to jail than pay the fine imposed on his organisation by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for environmental violations over a cultural extravaganza on the floodplains of Yamuna.

“We have not done anything wrong. We have been taintless and will remain so. We we will go to jail but not pay a penny,” said Ravi Shankar. The NGT on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs five crore on AOL as environmental compensation while clearing the decks for its three-day cultural extravaganza.

READ | Can revoke licence if Art of Living doesn’t pay Rs 5 crore fine: NGT

The organisation’s chief Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also tweeted that AOL was not “satisfied” with the verdict of the NGT and would appeal against it. He urged political parties not to “politicise” the event. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also denied that any tree at the venue was felled and claimed that the trees had only been pruned and all they had done was level the floodplain.

World Culture Festival: NGT Asks Centre To Explain Clearances Given

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“Not a single tree was felled. Trees were only pruned and we levelled the floodplain,” he said. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also expressed confidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the festival and claimed that people opposing it would “soon see sense”.

“This is like a Cultural Olympics. 37,000 artistes from all over the world would come together at one single platform. This is an event to bring people closer to each other. Event of this magnitude should be welcomed,” he told.

Notwithstanding the raging row over environmental damage due to the 3-day festival, the NGT on Wednesday gave its go ahead to the event to be held on the Yamuna floodplains from March 11, expressing its helplessness in banning it because of “fait accompli”.

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

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  1. B
    Bhavya
    Mar 10, 2016 at 10:35 am
    Backed by bjp. So he's violating rules and not even paying fine. Since modi is coming to the event so bjp is backing him
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    1. S
      Sirius
      Mar 10, 2016 at 10:20 am
      Advice to SSR : Please pay , make the event a success and then reclaim the amount by filing appeal in SC. NGT is a stubborn body, that feels it has veto over anything. Maybe , in future , majority-general may be ordered to take permission for breathing , as they are deemed to be polluting the environment of Delhi without seedling permission ..
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      1. M
        MyTake
        Mar 10, 2016 at 10:19 am
        NGT will be "blessed" with world wide condemnation for its high handedness and it will only boost Sri Sri's authority. NGT will set and an example for itself by itself to be condemned! World will also find another reason to support Modi seeing what anti-natural forces working in India under which Modi is staying the course.
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        1. M
          MyTake
          Mar 10, 2016 at 10:22 am
          PM Modi has started the journey and now it's time for all true spiritual leaders to join politics like they have been doing from time immemorial when polity has been hijacked.
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          1. V
            Vinod
            Mar 10, 2016 at 10:57 am
            Well done GURUJI
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