Court digest: Major environment hearings of the week (Dec 31-Jan 4)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Check uncontrolled withdrawal of groundwater in OCS areas: NGT

The National Green Tribunal on January 3 directed the environment ministry to constitute an Expert Committee to examine the issue of appropriate policy for conservation of groundwater to enhance access of groundwater for drinking purposes in overexploited, critical and semi-critical (OCS) areas. The Committee would indicate the projection of its impact study in light of projected data for the next 50 years. Thereafter, fresh guidelines would be issued by the concerned ministry and the report furnished to NGT on or before 30 April 2019.

SC asks Centre  to look into human rights of mentally ill patients

The Supreme Court on January 3 asked Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India to appear on behalf of the Union of India and look into the condition of patients in mental asylums. The petitioner had drawn the attention of the Court to the fact that some of the patients suffering from mental illness and lodged in Faith Based Mental Asylum situated near Mohalla Kabulpur, District Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, are kept under chains. The SC clearly stated that "this is not only inhuman and violative of rights of such persons under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, as even a person suffering from mental disability is still a human being and his dignity cannot be violated. It is also against the spirit of Section 95 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017".

Illegal sand mining affecting e-flow of the Yamuna, NGT informed

The issue of sand mining leases being given in 51 areas at Prayagraj by auction system without following the due procedure, including survey reports came up for hearing in the National Green Tribunal on January 2. Further this illegal mining was affecting the e-flow of the Yamuna river. Court directed the Divisional Commissioner, Prayagraj, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to jointly furnish a factual and action taken report to the Tribunal.

NGT asks HPSPCB to probe illegal dumping of garbage in Dharamshala

The National Green Tribunal on January 2 asked the Municipal Corporation, Dharamshala and the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (HPSPCB) to look into the matter of illegal dumping of garbage in village Sudher near Himachal Road Transport Corporation workshop which was affecting public health. The Court was hearing the application of Sunita Thakur, pradhan, Bageshwari Mahila Mandal, Sudher.

NGT hears complaint on the felling of trees in Shimla

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Himachal Pradesh, and the Municipal Commissioner, Shimla were asked by the National Green Tribunal on January 2 to look into the matter of illegal felling of green trees in Shimla and non-compliance of the Himachal Pradesh High Court order which had called for the numbering of trees.

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