T.N. Godavarman … vs Union Of India And Ors. on 15 February, 2021


Try out our Premium Member services: Virtual Legal Assistant, Query Alert Service and an ad-free experience. Free for one month and pay only if you like it.

Supreme Court of India

In Re : T.N. Godavarman … vs Union Of India And Ors. on 15 February, 2021

Author: Hon’Ble The Justice

                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                     CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

                          INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.191338 OF 2019
                                                 WITH
                           INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.55071 OF 2020
                                                  AND
                          INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.121109 OF 2020
                                                  AND
                          INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.130847 OF 2020
                                                  AND
                           INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO.87648 OF 2020
                                                   IN
                                 Writ Petition (Civil) No.202 OF 1995



     IN RE: T.N. GODAVARMAN THIRUMULPAD                             Petitioner(s)

                                                VERSUS

     UNION OF INDIA & ORS.                                        Respondent(s)


                                             ORDER

1. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has come up with these

applications praying for various reliefs including the relief of diversion of

small extents of forest land for the purpose of carrying out certain public

welfare projects. Some of these projects are already cleared under FCA

and FRA, but some are not. The application numbers and the reliefs sought
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Madhu Bala
Date: 2021.02.15
17:04:44 IST
Reason:

1

are presented in a tabular column for easy reference:

    Interlocutory                                       Prayer
    Application
    Number
    191338/2019              Relax the restriction imposed on diversion of forest land
    (Application for          under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 vide order dated
    directions)               11.3.2019
                             Relax the restriction imposed on diversion of forest land

under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006 vide or­
der dated 11.3.2019
 Permit the State Himachal Pradesh, to issue formal orders
for diversion of forest land under the Forest Act, 1980 and
the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest
Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006 for con­
struction of projects mentioned in para­5 of the applica­
tion and, to issue formal order also in respect of project
mentioned in para 6 of the application after receipt of final
approval from Govt. of India under FCA, 1980.
55071/2020  Relax/remove the restriction imposed on diversion of for­
(Application for est land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 vide or­
Directions) der dated 11.3.2019
 Relax/remove the restriction imposed on diversion of for­
est land under Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional
Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006
vide order dated 11.3.2019
 Permit the State Himachal Pradesh, to issue formal orders
for diversion of forest land under the Forest Act, 1980 and
the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006 for construction of
projects mentioned in para 8 & 9 of this application and
other projects which may be envisaged by the State in fu­
ture, in accordance with law i.e. strictly in accordance with
the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006.
87648/2020  Allow the State of Himachal Pradesh to carry out silvicul­
(Application for ture felling of Khair (Acacia catechu) trees in the forests
directions) areas of the State in accordance with the approved Work­
ing Plans
121109/2020  Allow the State of Himachal Pradesh to issue formal orders
(Application for for diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation)
directions) Act, 1980 [FCA] and Scheduled Tribes and Other Tradi­

2
tional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act,
2006 [FRA] for construction of projects mentioned in paras
12 & 13 of this application and other projects that may be
envisaged by the State in future in accordance with law
i.e.strictly with the provisions of FCA and FRA.
130847/2020  Allow the State of Himachal Pradesh to issue formal orders
(Application for for diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation)
directions) Act, 1980 for construction of projects mentioned in Para
13 and detailed in Annexure A­6 for all other projects that
may be envisaged by the State in future, in accordance
with law i.e. strictly with the provisions of Forest (Conser­
vation) Act, 1980 or the Scheduled Tribes and Traditional
Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act
, 2006 or
other Statutes governing the field.

2. We have heard Shri Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General and Shri

Ashok Sharma, learned Advocate General for the State of Himachal

Pradesh, appearing for the applicant and Shri A.D.N. Rao, learned Amicus

Curiae appointed by this Court. From the submissions made by Shri A.D.N.

Rao, learned Amicus Curiae, it can be deciphered that some of the reliefs

sought by the State of Himachal Pradesh can be straight away granted and

some other reliefs can be granted subject to certain clearances. The projects

for which permission may be granted and projects which can be permitted

subject to certain conditions are also given in a tabular column as follows:

Interlocutory Projects Projects
Application permitted with
Number or without
condition
(I)

3
191338/2019 S.No Activities No. of Area
cases involved
in ha.

              1      Hydro        Electric    3   7.3566
                     Projects
              2      Roads                    27   64.2176
              3      Indian Institute of       1   124.61
                     Technology
              4      Degree College           2    5.9239
              5.     Model School             1    2.08         Permission
              6.     Construction/upgr        2    0.8529       granted
                     adation of Electric
                     Sub­stations
              7.     Transmission line        1    36.4344
              8.     Hybrid       Power       1    5.5942
                     Project
                     (Solar+wind+battery
                     storage)
              9.     Extraction of river      1    1.3918
                     bed minerals
              10.    Car parking               1   0.154863
                     Total                    40   248.616263

                                    (II)
              S.No. Activities              No. of Area         Permission
                                            cases  involved     granted subject
                                                   in ha.       to the following
              1      Anganwadis               02   0.028        rider:
              2      Community                13   1.0529
                     Centers                                    “If the permission
              3      Dispensary        or     09   1.5648       of DFOs is granted
                     hospital                                   prior to 11.3.2019,
              4      Drinking       water     12   3.0341       the project can be
                     supply and water                           implemented.
                     pipeline                                   However, if the
                                                                permission is not
              5.     Roads                   191   101.6577
                                                                granted           till
              6.     Schools                  49   10.7082      11.03.2019,      the
              7.     Skill    upgradation     05   2.6992       concerned DFO is
                     or        Vocational                       allowed    process,
                     Training Centers                           examine         and
              8.     Tanks and other          05   0.8826       decide grant of
                     minor water bodies                         permission and if
              9.     Fair price shop          01   0.02         permission is so
              10.    Electric        and      01   0.92         granted,       such
                     Tele/Line                                  projects can be




                                      4
              11.    Minor      Irrigation   01    0.12         implemented   and
                     Cannel                                     allowed         to
                     Total                   289   122.7475     commence      and
                                                                complete.”


              (I)    34 projects under FCA, 1980 for which
55071/2020           final  approval   given   by   Central     permitted

Government, mentioned in Annexure A­9

(II) DFO concerned
96 projects under FRA, the proposals for is permitted to
which were received after 11.03.2019, process, examine
given in Annexure A­10 and decide the
grant of
permission and if
permission is so
granted, such
projects can be
implemented and
allowed to
commence and
complete.



                                     (I)
              S.No   Projects            No. of Forest
121109/2020                              cases  land
                                                involved
                                                (in ha.)
              1      Roads               37     161.7044
              2      Helipads            01     0.9898
              3      Transmission Lines 04      51.8232
                     & Power Stations
              4      Sewerage            02     1.72            Permission
                     Treatment Plants                           granted
              5      Drinking      Water 05     71.1711
                     Supply Schemes
              6      Hydro         Power 04     60.6863
                     Projects
              7      Other Projects      06     10.6575
                     Total               59     358.7524
                                     (II)




                                       5

S.No Activities (as per No. of Area
list at pages 63 to cases involved
68 of application) in
ha./No.

                                               of trees
                                               involved
              1      Anganwaris          01    0.007/0            Permission
              2      Community           01    0.014/0            granted subject
                     Centres                                      to the following
              3.     Roads               75    35.9618/           rider:
                                               501                Proposals
              4.     Schools             01    0.512/0            received    after
              5.     Tanks and other 01        0.3415/0           11.3.2019.
                     Minor Water Bodies
              6.     Water/Rain Water 01       0.0384/0
                                                                  “Therefore, DFO
                     Harvesting
                                                                  concerned       is
                     Structures
                                                                  permitted      to
                     Total               80    36.8747/
                                                                  process, examine
                                               501
                                                                  and        decide
                                                                  granted        of
                                                                  permission and if
                                                                  permission is so
                                                                  granted,    such
                                                                  projects can be
                                                                  implemented and
                                                                  allowed        to
                                                                  commence     and
                                                                  complete.”


130847/2020   Name of Project              Amount    Sanctioned
                                           sanctio   by
                                           ned
              S.No   Projects             No. of Forest
                                          cases  land
                                                 involved
                                                 (in ha.)
              1      Roads                  02   5.3595           Permission
              2      Bus Stand              02   1.2323           granted
              3      Construction      of   01   0.3185
                     Bridge approach
                     Total                   05      6.9103




                                       6
3.     IA No. 130847 of 2020

In this application, mention is made about two projects, at

page No.6 of the application.

Name of Project Amount Sanctioned Sanctioned by

One green corridor 1337 Crores MoRTH
National Highway

Construction of Two lane 61.48 Crores MoRTH
NH 20A (new NH 503)

The First project of Green Corridor National Highway is in
two parts, for each of which separate final approval has been
granted under Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act, by
Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India. One
final approval dated 30.09.2020 is for diversion of 28.449 ha of
forest land and second final approval of the even date is for
diversion of 22.419 ha of forest land. Both these final approvals
are attached with the affidavit filed on 06.02.2021. The said final
approvals are taken on record.

So far as Second Project viz. Construction of Two lane
NH20A (new NH 503) is concerned, the final approval for the
same for diversion of 7.0713 ha of forest land has also been
granted u/s 2 of the Forest Conservation Act by the Ministry of
Environment and Forest, Government of India vide letter dated

7
20.06.2020. This final approval dated 26.06.2020 is also
attached with the affidavit filed on 06.02.2021.

The final approvals are taken on record and the Government
may act accordingly.

4. IA No.87648 of 2020

The aforesaid I.A. is to be adjourned for 12 weeks. The

Committee appointed vide order dated 16.02.2018 may examine

the contents of this I.A while filing its further report regarding

result of Silviculture operations already undertaken.

5. The applications are disposed of accordingly.

……………………………..CJI
(S.A. BOBDE)

……………………………….J.

(A.S. BOPANNA)

………………………………..J.

(V. RAMASUBRAMANIAN)
New Delhi
February 15, 2021

8



Source link