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Last month, the Court had restrained the Centre from publishing the final version of the Draft EIA Notification, 2020 till September 7.
The Karnataka High Court today extended the operation of its interim order restraining the Central government from publishing the final version of the Draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020.
The Court was hearing a plea alleging that the Draft Notification was not given sufficient publicity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the Court had restrained the Centre from publishing the final version of the Draft EIA Notification, 2020 till September 7.
During the hearing, counsel appearing for the Centre, Shivakumar informed the Court that the Delhi High Court was hearing a review petition against its order directing the Centre to publish the Draft EIA Notification 2020 in 22 vernacular languages.
The Court, however noted that the government was yet to file its response in the matter before it. The order passed today by a Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice NS Sanjay Gowda reads,
"Rule Nisi had been issued under order dated 5th August, an interim relief had been granted. Thereafter, no further response has been filed by the Government of India. Therefore, interim order passed on 5th August, 2020 will continue to operate until further orders."
The Court also issued notice in another plea filed by Bangalore Environment Trust seeking interim relief to restrain the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests from publishing the Draft EIA Notification, 2020. The plea was filed through Advocate Pradeep Nayak.
However, the Court opined that as interim relief had already been granted in the order dated August 5, it was not necessary to consider the prayer for interim relief in this plea.
On August 5, the Court had clarified that in the event the Centre was willing to grant reasonable time for filing objections from the date on which wide publicity is given in the state, it could apply for vacating the interim relief.