New Delhi: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's comment that he would "go to jail but not pay fine" for his mega event on the banks of the river Yamuna was drew a sharp rebuke from the country's top environmental court, which said it was unbecoming of him.
- 'Unbecoming of Sri Sri to say he would go to jail than pay fine': Court
- Sri Sri told NDTV he would go to jail but won't pay the 5 crore fine
- Green court, on Tuesday, allowed the 3-day festival with conditions
"Is it correct that you made a statement that you will not pay Rs 5 crore fine and rather go to jail?" the National Green Tribunal asked the spiritual guru's Art of Living foundation in a hearing hours ahead of the grand opening of its "World Culture Festival".
The tribunal said it did not expect that kind of comment from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as "he has a high stature".
When Art of Living agreed to pay the amount - Rs 25 lakh today and the rest over three weeks - the court noted: "Good sense has prevailed. If people like him start violating the directions of the court then what about ordinary people? It will send the wrong signal."
The world famous spiritual guru had made the declaration in interviews to NDTV and other media.
"We have not done anything wrong...we will go to jail but not pay a penny," he told NDTV.
On Tuesday, the tribunal allowed the three-day festival on the banks of the river Yamuna but asked the organisers to pay a fine of Rs 5 crore for extensive damage to the flood plains, cited by environmentalists.
Art of Living today said it is a "charitable trust" and cannot collect Rs 5 crore "so quickly in a day".