The Karnataka High Court has directed the Centre not to publish the final notification of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 till September 7, observing that the draft was not publicised in vernacular languages.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi passed the interim order on Wednesday on a plea by United Conservation Movement, restraining the government from finalising the draft EIA 2020 unless wide publicity was given to it in local languages.
The bench also maintained that the Ministry should give reasonable opportunity and time to the citizens to file their objections and suggestions till the next date of hearing.
The petitioner sought extension of time to file objections to the draft notification, published in English and Hindi, till December 31.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest had initially given two months time to the public to file their objections after publishing the draft on March 23, but due to the coronavirus induced lockdown the last date was extended till August 11.
The court noted that due to the lockdown many people who are unable to read English or Hindi may not have responded to it and due to the recent shutdown the information may not have reached people.
It, however, granted liberty to the Ministry to file an application for vacating the stay once the orders are compiled with.
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