Delhi: NGT fines Rs 113.25 crore broker in Noida, know why ED got reprimanded


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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of over Rs 113 crore on a Noida-based broker for breaching environmental standards and found that the breach was caused by the failure of the enforcement directorate in this case for more than nine and – half a year has disappeared. It was also noted that when the case was picked up by the federal agency, it was in a narrow field.

The National Green Tribunal said that the ED forgot to note that the scope of the Money Laundering Prevention Act (PMLA) has been expanded and that the revenue earned from committing such crimes is the proceeds of crimes as defined in the law. The green panel heard a plea alleging that Uppal Chadha Hi Tech Developers Pvt. Ltd. violated environmental standards in its high-tech townships in 14 villages in Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar districts of Uttar Pradesh.

A bench of Justice AK Goel noted that the project proponent (PP) violated several environmental standards and that the proponent was required to pay environmental compensation based on the principle that the polluter pays for environmental remediation measures. A panel of Judicial Member Judge Sudhir Agarwal and Expert Member A Senthil Vel calculated the environmental compensation at 0.75 percent of the total project cost. Environmental compensation of Rs 113.25 crore will be paid by the PP and deposited with the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) within three months. The bank said punitive measures such as criminal prosecution against PP would also be appropriate.

The green tribunal said that in the case at hand, environmental standards were not met and resulted in a “planned violation”. The income earned from the commission of such a crime is the proceeds of crime as defined in the PMLA. Furthermore, displaying the income as business income, presenting or claiming it as undamaged property, and the entire activity falls under Section 3 (crime of money laundering) of the PMLA.

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