HC grants Govt two more weeks to submit counter affidavit in tree felling case

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IMPHAL, July 9: A division bench comprising of acting chief justice LK Mohapatra and justice N Kotishwar, High Court of Manipur granted two weeks time to respondents to filed their affidavit in the PIL filed at the Court against the state Government and Union of India for felling of trees in the name of execution of development projects violating the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The PIL was today listed at the cause list item no. 4. Earlier the matter was placed before the court of Justice N Kotiswar Singh as an unlisted matter on mention due to non-availability of the division bench.

The bench granted the returnable time following the plea of the respondent’s counsel.

Appearing on behalf of the respondents (Union of India) Amarjit Naorem, Central Government Standing Counsel (CGSC) and Additional AG, Ch Nobin, on behalf of the (State) pleaded before the bench.

The counsels of the petitioner are N Kumarjit Singh, Sr advocate assisted by advocate P Tamphamani Singh.

The court also reportedly advised the respondents to abstain from felling trees or need be to take prior clearance from the authority concerned.

The respondents of the petition are Principal Secretary (Works), representing on behalf of state of Manipur, Chief Engineer, PWD and Union of India represented by the Ministry of Transport.

The PIL (no. 13 of 2014) was lodged by Karam Hemchandra Singh, 38 years, son of K Khelen Singh of Wangkhei Lourembam Leikai before the court of Justice N Kotiswar Singh.

In the petition Hemchandra pointed out that the Government of Manipur under the assistance of the central Government executed many development projects in the state. As a part of the project the process for widening of NH-150 (Keishampat to Malom bazaar) is actively going on. In executing this project the Government of Manipur is felling/cutting of growing trees standing alongside of Keishampat to Malom.

Moreover, the Government is also executing another project construction of Sanjenthong Bridge and presently preparing for cutting of trees growing at the road side of Imphal to Pureilomba Khongnang Makhong as well as trees growing inside the Mahaballi forest for a diversion bridge.

Contending that no environmental clearance was obtained under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 in the course of execution of the projects, it drew the attention of the Court to retrain the respondents or to make an alternative for transplantation of the Growing trees to another place for the ends of justice.

 

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