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HC Issues Summons to ASI Official for Allowing Art of Living Camp in Heritage Site

The Brihadisvara temple complex, where the event was supposed to be held, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A two-judge division bench of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, reportedly, issued summons to the Assistant Conservation Officer of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Monday, December 10.

According to a report in The News Minute, in its hearing on the case filed against the two-day Art of Living (AOL) meditational camp that was to be held on December 7-8, at the Sri Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur, the Bench — comprising of Justices KK Sasidharan and PD Audikesavulu — directed the Assistant Conservation Officer to appear before them on Thursday, December 13. The ASI had given permission to AOL for holding the event.

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N Venkatesh, a Kumbakonam resident reportedly filed the petition challenging the organisation of the event on Friday, December 7, merely hours prior to its start. In his petition, Venkatesh also mentioned the National Green Tribunal (NGT) fining AOL for damaging the river Yamuna during their 2016 event by its banks.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras HC ordered a stay on the event, while questioning the AOL as to the reason for the event being held in the temple. It had also directed the removal of the temporary structure constructed to hold the event, which was to feature AOL founder, Sri Sri Ravishankar.

The Brihadisvara temple is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage site. The AOL event, reportedly, was set to feature around 800 guests and was to be held on Friday and Saturday.

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