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AOL’s remarks on expert panel irresponsible: NGT

The bench’s remarks came during the hearing when the counsel for AOL sought extension of time by  three weeks for submitting its response to the expert committee’s report. “The statements which your client (AOL) had made were very irresponsible. The media reports clearly stated what your client has said. What your client has done is very irresponsible,” a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said. In its statement to the media, the AOL had termed the expert committee’s report, submitted to the NGT, as “biased” and said it “contains no analysis, no in-depth investigation, no reports of any scientific tests to support the conclusions. The conclusions in the report are merely the opinion of the expert committee without scientific basis. The report does not reflect the true state of the ground.” 

The issue came up when AOL’s counsel sought time to file a response to the report, while the counsel for petitioner and environmentalist Manoj Kumar Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan said the organisation has already formed its opinion on it as it released the statement to the media just a day after expert panel’s report.

“The very next day they formed their opinion. If they want time, why did they make their opinion in media,” the counsel for the petitioner said.

To this, AOL’s advocate claimed that the organisation had not done any such thing as alleged by the opposite side and argued that it should not be made a media trial.

The Tribunal, however, granted a week’s time to AOL to file its response to the committee’s report. 

“From the averments made in the application, there is hardly any ground for extension of time. We grant one week’s time for filing response. Reply be positively filed by September 12,” the Bench said, while posting the matter for September 28.
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