SC bifurcates bench to deal with environment work

The SC announced the creation of second special green bench to deal with matters relating to environment and forest in view of manifold increase in number of such cases.

Updated: Jul 16, 2010, 22:52 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday announced
the creation of second special green bench to deal with
matters relating to environment and forest in view of
manifold increase in number of such cases.

"We are going to divide the forest bench into two
parts," Chief Justice S H Kapadia said adding th
e new bench
will be headed by Justice B Sudershan Reddy that will sit on
Monday and hear matters relating to implementation of
directives passed by it.

The CJI said the bench headed by him, which also includes
Justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan, will look after the
matters in which norms are to be laid down.

Justice Kapadia said the matters relating to mining will
be heard by the bench headed by him which will conduct the
proceedings as usual on Friday.

The Chief Justice said matters will be taken up for
hearing in a chronological order and no adjournment will be
given and suggested the Ministry of Environment and Forest be
ready in advance with all the matters.

"We will start hearing the matter from next Friday
onwards and take it up on every Friday till we finish," he
said releasing the list of nine matters in chronological order
which will be taken by the Bench headed by him.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati assured the Bench that the
Ministry will be ready to assist the Bench which in the past
15 years has passed several landmark judgements, orders and
directions for implementation of laws relating to conservation
of forest and environment.

The petitions challenging the installation of statues
of Dalit leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati, at a park in Noida which allegedly has adverse
environmental impact on Okhla bird sanctuary is on the top of
the list for hearing.

The Noida park matter will be followed by the hearing of
cases in which Municipal Corporation of Delhi has accused the
Railways of violating environ
mental norms in outdoor
advertisement.

After finishing these two matters, the forest bench
headed by the CJI will examine the allegation against the
French cement giant Lafarge that it was violating the laws for

carrying out mining in the fo
rest of Meghalaya for its plant
in Bangladesh.

The recent controversy relating to the alleged illegal
mining of iron and ore in Bellary reserved forest in Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka b
order by the Reddy brothers will come
up after dealing with three other matters -- mining in
Aravalli Hills of Haryana, construction of buildings in forest
land in Maharashtra and mining in Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan.

The CJI said the Bench headed by Justice Reddy will hear
four categories of matters which will include issues relating
to saw mills, construction of highways, illegal felling of
trees (including smuggling of sandalwood and kendu leaves).

The second bench will also hear matters relating to tiger
reserves, bird sanctuaries and Wildlife.

PTI