Saturday, 17 December 2011

{DUU-14} Delhi High Court ordered 01-03-2006

Delhi High Court ordered

If no reply, then Secretary MoEF,
should personally present in the court

Case:- Vimalbhai Vs. Union of India
Issue:-Constitute the National Environment Applet Authority according to High Court order
Lawyers: Adv. Sanjay Parikh

And Adv. Ritwik Dutta, Adv. Rahul Chowdhary
of "Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment"

On 28-2-2006 Delhi High Court hear the case filed by Matu People’s Organisation. Council for the petitioner Adv. Ritiwik Dutta argued on the issue of non-constitution of the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) despite a clear direction of the High Court on 29-9-05 to constitute the same within 45 days.

Justice Virendra Jain & Justice S.K. Agarwal took serious note of the fact that the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has not bothered to appear on file a reply. The High Court directed that the Standing counsel of the MoEF should appear and apprise the Court on the steps taken to constitute NEAA. If no reply is received then Secretary MoEF, should personally remain present in High Court on the next date of hearing.

You may recall

Project Name: Lohari-Pala Hydroelectric Project (4x130 MW)
Agency: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
River: Bhagirathi
Environmental Clearance granted on 8.2.2005

  • On 1-4-2005 an appeal filed by Matu Peoples’ Organisation and Two headmen of effected villages named Tihar and Bhatwari in National Environment Appellate Authority against environmental Clearance of the project.
  • On 21 May NEAA dismissed the apple on the basis of late filing. (The time period is 30 days and then another 60 days with condonation of delay)
  • Petitioners filed case in Delhi High Court against NEAA decision.
  • Delhi High Court’s acting chief Justice B. A. Khan and Justice Madan Lokur took a serious view and on 29-9-05 directed the Government of India to constitute the National Environmental Appellate Authority within a period of 45 days and came down heavily on the Government for appointing a former Secretary of The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Vishwanath Anand as the Vice Chairperson who has been rejecting application on minor technicalities. The Bench reminded the Counsel for NTPC that there are people’s movement and struggles involved in challenging dams and hydel power projects and it was strange that the Vice chairperson wanted explanation of every days delay in the project. The least that the Appellate Authority could do is to hear the appeals on merit, the Chief justice remarked.
  • But MoEF failed to constitute this very important authority. So, again petitioners filed an urgent application. Petitioners urged the Delhi High Court to direct the Union of India to forthwith implement the directions passed by the same court. Ask explanation from UOI in delay in constituting the Appellate Authority.

Development for all, not only for few.

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