Sat, 27 Feb 2021

New Delhi [India], January 27 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the central government whether there is any problem if the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) draft is taken out in several languages as many people will not be able to read a draft of public interest that is in English and Hindi.

While hearing the review petition of the Centre, a bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan also asked why the government was vehemently resisting the Delhi High Court order passed on June 30, 2020, to translate the draft EIA in all 22 languages, listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Expressing difficulty in publishing the draft in languages other than Hindi and English, the Centre told Delhi High Court that it would lead to "administrative chaotic" to sweep in all the vernacular languages in the draft notification.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma also submitted that there are administrative difficulties in implementation of the translation of 21 languages. More than 20 lakh responses with several suggestions have been received so far in different languages too, he added.

After noting the submissions, the Delhi High Court slated the matter for February 25 and asked the Centre to file an affidavit in this regard.

Earlier, the Union Environment Ministry had filed the review petition after the court passed an order on a plea by Vikrant Tongad seeking modification in the court's earlier order to extend the time for public comments on the draft EIA notification 2020 by a period of 60 days from the date of uploading the translated versions of the draft notification in all the languages mentioned in Schedule VIII.

The Delhi High Court, earlier had extended the time granted to the general public to give their suggestions for the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2020 till August 11 and observed there was ambiguity in the notification dated May 8, which extended the time limit to give the common public its suggestion for draft notification. (ANI)

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