New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Delhi High Court order to Centre saying print draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 notification in 22 languages. Centre has petitioned to challenge the High Court’s order.
The Delhi High Court on June 30 ordered the Centre to print the draft EIA notification in languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, other than English and Hindi.
Chief Justice SA Bobde observed, “Impugned order is in the correct spirit since, in many rural areas, people may not be conversant with Hindi and English.”
The court gave 10 days to the Centre to comply with the order. The government, however, has not complied so far, leading to a contempt of court. The Centre subsequently approached the Supreme Court on July 28, challenging the high court order.
Advocate Prince Issac said, “The Supreme Court today rejected the government’s appeal without even issuing a notice.” Moreover, the apex court ordered the Centre to publish the draft notification in all language mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
Another advocate involved in the case, Vishal Sinha said, “The court observed there was no legal obligation to print the notification in regional languages.”
The draft EIA notification was published in the Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s official websites only in English and Hindi, with no publication of the notification in any regional or local-level newspapers.
“The stand of the government on the translation of the notification in regional languages has been ambiguous. In the second hearing, they said they already told the state governments to start the translation, but in the third hearing, they said the government was not obliged to translate,” said a petitioner.