MHC quashes notice issued to Isha for raising constructions without EC

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar passed the orders on allowing the petition filed by the Isha foundation. The petitioner foundation prayed for a direction to quash the show-cause notice issued by the TNPCB on November 19, 2021
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the show cause notice issued by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to the Isha Foundation for making constructions without obtaining the environmental clearance contemplated under the Union Government’s Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006.

The first bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Krishnakumar passed the orders on allowing the petition filed by the Isha foundation. The petitioner foundation prayed for a direction to quash the show-cause notice issued by the TNPCB on November 19, 2021.

The foundation submitted that since it has been classified as an educational institution, it was exempted from obtaining environmental clearance. “Since Isha has been promoting the activities of health, thought, body, yoga, and other righteous things, it should be considered as the educational institution, ” the petitioner argued.

However, the state government informed the Madras HC it is not clear whether Isha is an educational institution. The TNPCB further noted that out of the four lakhs square feet of land, Isha made constructions related to yoga activities only ten thousand square feet.

Assistant Solicitor General R Shankaranarayanan submitted that since is Isha Foundation is an educational institution, it does not need to obtain EC.

Recording the submission, the bench held that the education-related activities are being carried out in 1.25 lakh square feets out of the four lakhs square feets and therefore the institution should be considered an educational institution. The judges also observed that the petitioner has the right to get an exemption from the environmental clearance and quashed the notice issued by the TNPCB.

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