Looking to the "far reaching" consequences of the public consultation process, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Government to publish the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2020 in all 22 official languages.
The order has been passed by a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a petition filed by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad, seeking extension of the time to respond to the draft EIA 2020 till September.
While extending the deadline till August 11, the bench asked the Government to publish the draft notification in all 22 official languages that are mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, within 10 days.
"Looking to the far reaching consequences of the public consultation process for which the draft notification has been published, we are of the view that it would be in aid of effective dissemination of the proposed notification if arrangements are made for its translation into other languages as well, at least those mentioned in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution," the bench said.
Delhi HC Extends Time For Filing Objections To Draft EIA Notification 2020 Till August 11
The direction was made after the Petitioner pointed out that the draft had been published only in English and Hindi, whereas it is proposed to have effect all over India and to several industries and comments have naturally been elicited from all over the country.
He further informed the court that even in past, the Government has published its draft notifications in other languages.
While allowing this prayer, the bench clarified that the translation may be undertaken by the Government of India itself, or with the assistance of the State Governments, where applicable.
"Such translations should also be published through the website of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India as well as on websites of Environment Ministries of all the States as well as those of State Pollution Control Boards, within ten days from today," the bench added.
Case Title: Vikrant Tongad v. Union of India
Case No.: WP (C) 3747/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan
Appearance: Senior Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan with Advocates Shrishti Agnihotri, Abhishek Jebraj & Vanshdeep Dalmia (for Petitioner); ASG Maninder Acharya with CGSC Anurag Ahluwalia, Abhigyan Siddhant & Viplav Acharya (for Respondent)
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