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Madras High Court reserves verdict on Isha Foundation challenge to show cause notice for alleged environmental norm breaches

Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram argued that the Foundation’s claim of being an educational institute remained “disputed.” He further said that even if one were to accept that the yoga centres at the Foundation could qualify as educational institutes, even then, such structures came to measure just around 10,000 square metres of the over two lakh square metres of the Foundation premises in Coimbatore.

The State government also argued that the 2014 amendment was to be applicable only prospectively.

However, Senior Advocate Satish Parasaran argued on behalf of the Foundation that on May 19, 2022, as per an Office Memorandum issued to clarify the 2014 notification, educational institutes were defined as schools, colleges and any other institute that catered to one’s “physical, mental, and moral development.” 

Therefore, the Foundation need not have sought prior environmental clearance for carrying out construction work between the years 2006 and 2014 at its premises in Coimbatore district, Parasaran said.

Source: Barandbench

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