New Delhi: The Centre has filed a petition in the High Court requesting to reconsider its directive to publish the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 in all 22 languages under the eighth schedule to the Constitution. Delhi High court directed to publish the Environment Impact Assessment Draft in all 22 languages. The Centre said that the official documents are required to be published only in Hindi and English. The law does not require notifications to be published in local languages it has contended. Thus the Centre filed a plea seeking review of this direction by the High Court.
A Bench of Chief DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan on Friday issued notice to the environmentalist on whose petition it has directed the translation of the draft EIA into 22 languages. The Court has asked them to respond by September 23. The High Court in its order of June 30 had extended the deadline to August 11 to express opinions and objections to the draft EIA. It also said that the notification should be published in all 22 languages within ten days of the verdict. The order was given on a petition by environmental protection activist Vikrant Tongde.
The Centre moved Supreme Court against the decision of the High Court. But the apex court has said that it should first reconsider the decision after which the Centre had withdrawn its petition. Allowing the Centre to go to the High Court, the apex court had also stayed the contempt action against the Centre till it filed a review petition.
The Centre had on July 28 moved an appeal before the Supreme Court against the High Court decision. The top court on August 13, declined to entertain the appeal at that stage, but granted liberty to the Ministry to seek review of the High Court’s June 30 decision.
The draft EIA notification 2020 has several substantive new features and supersedes the EIA Notification 2006. “This draft notification proposes significant changes to the existing regime, including removing public consultation entirely in certain instances, reducing the time for public consultation from 45 days to 40 days, and allowing post facto approvals for projects,” Mr. Todgad had said.