The Karnataka High Court today restrained the Central government from publishing the final version of the Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2020, till September 7..This direction came in a plea alleging that the Draft EIA notification, 2020 was not being given sufficient publicity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. .While dealing with the matter, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice AS Kinagi stated, ."Prima facie it appears to us that the right of the citizens of raising objections to the Draft notification has been taken away....Therefore, we grant limited interim relief. We restrain the respondents from publishing final notification on the basis of the impugned Draft Notification, 2020 till the next date of hearing."Karnataka High Court.The last date for filing objections was earlier August 11. .Time limit to file objections to Draft EIA Notification 2020 is up to August 11: Delhi High Court [READ ORDER].The Bench also made it a point to clarify that in the event the Centre is willing to grant reasonable time for filing objections from the date on which wide publicity is given in the state, it can apply for vacating the interim relief..Draft EIA Notification 2020: Karnataka HC urges Centre to consider extending last date for receiving objections from public.The Court firstly noted that the Draft EIA notification came into being on March 23, two days before the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced by the Central government. Amid the lockdown, there were several constraints for persons to file objections to the draft notification, the Court observed. .In its order, the Court further said that the Centre cannot proceed with publishing the Final Notification without verifying whether sufficient publicity has been given to the Draft EIA notification, 2020. .Today, the Central government contended that the draft notification ought to be published in the Official Gazette only in Hindi and English languages. In order to buttress its argument, Article 343 of the Constitution of India and provisions of the Official Languages Act was relied upon..However, the Court refused to appreciate this contention and further deprecated this practice. It opined, ."It cannot be disputed as far as the State of Karnataka is concerned, there may be many citizens who are not well conversant in Hindi and English language and who would like to file objections.".The Bench went on to add, ."The approach of the respondents suggests that perhaps those who don't understand Hindi and English language need not file comments or objections to the notification."Karnataka High Court.During the hearing, the Court had repeatedly asked Central government counsel Shiva Kumar whether reasonable time would be granted for citizens to file objections after wide publicity is given to the Draft EIA notification, 2020. .Will drastically affect industries and individuals: Karnataka HC pulls up Centre for not issuing Draft EIA Notification in local languages.However, Shiva Kumar was unable to give a positive response. This prompted the Court the pass the aforesaid order. .The matter will be next heard on September 7. .Advocates Prince Issac and Bhavya AC appeared for the petitioners.