Appellant: Auroville Foundation
Respondents: Navroz, Sandeep and all other parties who were in the NGT case except Auroville Foundation
AVF claim that respondents cut trees to build their own houses and are large landowners owning land on the project area (i.e crown, ring and radials) and therefore the intent of the case was mischievous from the outset.
Avf claimed that NGT had no jurisdiction over Auroville and that Master Plan created as directed by statute is to be exempted from the environmental jurisprudence, as the city and same plan has been followed since 1968 and that time environmental laws didn’t exist.
Lawyer for respondents clarified that Master Plan was gazetted and came into effect as per the notification only in 2010 and therefore all environmental laws apply.
Supreme Court issued notice to respondents but confined it purely and only to direction number 1 for the present moment. Respondents were told to make our reply and arguments within 2 weeks
Direction Number 1 of NGT Judgement states “(i) The 1st Respondent is directed to prepare a proper township plan either in respect of 778 Ha which is in their possession now or in respect of 1963 Ha which was visualized by the MOTHER by identifying the locations where each zone will have to be located, where the roads will have to be laid showing the location of the ring roads with their width and further road, if any, to be constructed, the nature of industries and other activities which they are expected to establish in the township and if it is not going to be implemented as one phase, how many phases in which they are going to complete the project and then apply for Environmental Clearance (EC) as it will fall under Item 8 (b) of the EIA Notification, 2006 as amended from time to time. Till then they are directed not to proceed with further construction in the project area.”
Court stated that it is not convinced as to any other aspect of the claims made by the AVF in the NGT’s order and interim reliefs cannot be granted on any aspect at this point to the AVF, as it would frustrate the entire excercise created by the NGT and the stay on cutting down any trees or clearing forests.
Court noted that the NGT in its wisdom has made an appropriate judgement and there is no need for a stay on the issue at this juncture.
Therefore, for the present, NGT judgement holds as law.
Every other aspect of the appeal on the judgement by NGT is not going to be looked at for now.
Next hearing posted for 20th Oct 2022