The Central government informed the Madras High Court on Wednesday that it has decided to release the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020 in local languages. The Court was adjudicating upon a batch of petitions seeking the translation of the Draft EIA notification, 2020 into vernacular languages.
Advocate Kumaraguru appearing for the Union government apprised a Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu that such a decision had been taken by the Centre pursuant to an order of the Delhi High Court in a related matter.
Last month, the Centre informed the Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan of the Delhi High Court that it would translate and publish the Draft EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) in 22 vernacular languages.
Accordingly, the High Court recorded in its order on Wednesday,
“It is submitted on behalf of the Union that pursuant to an order passed by the Delhi High Court, the Union has now accepted that while conducting an environmental impact assessment study, the questionnaire will be prepared in the local language. The Union seeks some time for the guidelines or notification in such regard to be issued.”
Furthermore, advocate Sankar Shanmugam appearing for one of the petitioners pointed out to the Court that there is an additional aspect which had not been addressed by the Centre. He submitted that the plea also contends that the Draft EIA Notification, 2021 had been issued without proper public consultation.
Taking into consideration the grievance raised, the Bench directed the Centre,
“While the Union takes care of the first limb of the petitioner’s grievance, the Union should also pay attention to the second aspect to which the petitioner has drawn attention that much wider public participation should be sought in the process than has been indicated in the memorandum dated April 19, 2010.”
Accordingly, the Bench adjourned the hearing of the matter to December 8 and meanwhile directed the Centre to address the Court on the additional grievance as well.
Case Title: B Ramkumar Adityan v. Union of India
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