AOL to pay Rs 25 lakhs in fine today, rest amount to be deposited within 3 weeks


New Delhi: In a breather for the Art of Living Foundation, the National Green Tribunal(NGT) on Friday granted the organisation run by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar three weeks’ time to pay in full Rs 5 crore fine imposed on it for organising the World Culture Festival on the flood plain of river Yamuna.
The AOL will deposit Rs 25 lakhs today itself and the balance Rs 4.75 crores within three weeks.

The AOL had earlier been directed by the NGT to submit the fine with the Delhi Development Authority by 5 pm today.
Hearing an application filed by the AOL, the tribunal accepted its undertaking that it will not be able to pay the full fine by 5 pm today.

In its application, the AOL had said that it is a charitable organisation and it is difficult for it to generate Rs 5 crores in a short period.
The AOL agreed to deposit Rs 25 lakhs today itself and the balance amount within the stipulated time when asked by the NGT if a part of the penalty could be paid today as it “environment compensation”.

The AOL had earlier said that the amount required to be paid by it should not be taken as penalty but as environment compensation for biodiversity park to be built on the site of the festival.

The NGT, meanwhile, said if the AOL fails to pay Rs 25 lakhs today, then the grant of Rs 2.5 crore released to the foundation by the Culture Ministry will be attached.