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SC stays NGT order imposing over ₹15 cr penalty on Coca-Cola’s bottling unit


The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order imposing an environmental compensation of over 15 crore on Moon Beverages, a key bottler for Coca-Cola in north India. 

The SC bench said, “There shall be a stay of operation of the impugned judgement and order dated February 25, 2022, passed by the National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench, New in Original Application No.69 of 2020.”

The court was hearing an appeal by Moon Beverages that challenged NGT’s order imposing compensation of 1.85 crore on Moon Beverages Ltd located at Greater Noida, 13.24 crore on Moon Beverage Ltd’s Sahibabad unit, and 9.71 crore on Varun Beverages Ltd’s Greater Noida unit.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Ghaziabad-resident Sushil Bhatt raising the issue of extraction of groundwater in an indiscreet and arbitrary manner, even in areas where the availability of groundwater is an extreme scarcity.

The NGT, meanwhile, constituted a joint committee comprising officials from the Environment Ministry, Ministry of Jal Shakti, CGWA, UPGWD, and District Magistrates of the districts concerned. The committee will prepare a restoration plan within two months and execute the same in the next six months. Following this, the report will be submitted. 

“We also constitute a joint Committee of CPCB, CGWA, UPGWD, and UPPCB to conduct the survey in UP and prepare data of various categories drawing groundwater for commercial purposes, study impact assessment, suggest ways and modes to reduce groundwater extraction in OCS areas, and how groundwater level can be improved, it had said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Ghaziabad-resident Sushil Bhatt raising the issue of extraction of groundwater in an indiscreet and arbitrary manner, even in areas where the availability of groundwater is an extreme scarcity.

The plea had alleged that the units mentioned above have not obtained any ‘No Objection Certificate’ from Central Ground Water Authority for extraction of groundwater.

 



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