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

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had earlier said he would rather go to jail than pay the Rs 5 crore fine.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 10, 2016 5:22:48 pm
Express Photo The NGT on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs 5 crore on the Art of Living as an initial amount. Express Photo

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday said that it could well cancel the clearance for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Culture Festival if the Rs 5 crore fine imposed on Art of Living is not paid by 4 pm this evening.

The NGT bench was informed that the payment had not yet come in. Earlier on Thursday Ravi Shankar told NDTV that he would rather go to jail than pay the fine imposed by NGT.

“We have not done anything wrong…we will go to jail but not pay a penny,” the 59-year-old spiritual leader said.

The court imposed a fine on the organisation after environmentalists protested that the event – looking to host lakhs of people – will damage the ecologically sensitive Yamuna flood banks.

World Culture Festival: NGT Asks Centre To Explain Clearances Given

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A group of farmers petitioned the Supreme Court asking that the licence granted be revoked, but the court refused to hear the petition asking the petitioner Bhartiya Kishan Majdoor Samiti to approach the National Green Tribunal with its plea.

Ravi Shankar said he spoke to the farmers and that they were politically motivated, and reiterated that he will convert the area into a bio-diversity park.

While President Pranab Mukherjee’s office said he will not be attending the function, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend it.

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