No helicopters or new helipads for Gupta wedding: Indian high court

18 June 2019 - 20:57 By TimesLIVE
Ajay and Atul Gupta will host another lavish wedding ceremony for their children, this time in India.
Ajay and Atul Gupta will host another lavish wedding ceremony for their children, this time in India.
Image: Martin Rhodes

Indian media is reporting that an Indian high court might be crashing the party of the latest Gupta wedding bash after blocking the construction of new helipads at the Auli ski resort, where the lavish weddings are set to be held this week.

The Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday that the Uttarakhand High Court on Monday ruled that no helicopters may be used to fly guests to the ski resort and no helipads may be built for the wedding. 

The wedding of Ajay Gupta’s son Suryakant is set to take place from June 18 to 20 and the wedding of Atul Gupta’s son Shashank wedding will take place from June 20 to 22.

The court also directed the state pollution control board to monitor the wedding for possible environmental damage and ordered that the Gupta brothers should deposit about Rs 5 crore (R10.4m) before the wedding to restore the venue after possible environmental damage.

It argued that the Gupta brothers' could return to SA after the wedding and would then be out of Indian jurisdiction, although any money left over from the deposit would be refunded.

The Gupta brothers hail from Saharanpur in India and currently live in Dubai.

The Times of India reported that the Gupta’s legal representative, TS Bindra, argued the brothers have the necessary permission and asked the deposit be reduced to Rs 2 crore (R4.18m).

Chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan criticised the fact that the weddings were being held in an environmentally sensitive area and warned that if the government allowed it, it would set a precedent for other lavish weddings.

“They want to be the first to hold a wedding in such an area ... Why this area? Why not somewhere else? Why can’t it be held in Nainital, or Serengeti in Africa? Just one state, Uttarakhand, is left to save this country ... two-thirds of the country’s green cover is here..,” Ranganathan reportedly said.

Meanwhile, The Times of India reported that Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the environmental concerns were “unnecessary” and believed the wedding would promote the state as a wedding destination. 

It also reported about 50 Bollywood stars are expected to attend the wedding.

Political parties and activists have criticised the Indian government for permitting a wedding extravaganza at a ski resort, citing environmental concerns around scores of guests being flown in by helicopter.

The wedding plans are being met with the same scorn the family received for the extravagant nuptials of their niece, Vega Gupta, at Sun City in 2013. Then, Waterkloof Air Force Base was used as an entry point for guests flying in.