Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 18, 2019)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (September 18, 2019)

Private institutions come under RTI Act: SC

Educational institutions and non-profits that get “substantial funds” from the government fall under the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005, said the Supreme Court on September 17, 2019.

Under the Act, a public authority is required to maintain records and every citizen has the right to get information from the public authority, added the SC.

The apex court was hearing an application filed by colleges and associations running these institutions. They said the objective of the Act was to cover only government and its instrumentalities which are accountable to the government.

“We have no hesitation in holding that an NGO substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government would be a public authority amenable to the provisions of the Act,” read the SC judgment. The same holds true for private institutions like colleges and schools, added the court.

Filling of wetland in Hoogly

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 16, 2019 asked Hoogly district magistrate and West Bengal Wetland Authority to look into the alleged illegal filling of wetlands near Hindustan Motor Factory in Hoogly. The tribunal also sought an action taken report within a month on the matter.

Encroachment of ponds in Meerut

The NGT on September 16, 2019 directed the deputy collector/sub-divisional magistrate of Meerut to appear for the next hearing on October 17, 2019 due to lack of action by authorities concerned. This is despite the fact that the tribunal has repeatedly issued directions regarding illegal encroachment of three ponds in Sadullapur village, Chandpura Pargana-Sarava Tehsil, Meerut district.

Water bodies damaged in Maharashtra

The SC on September 16, 2019 ordered that a notice be issued to those damaging to water bodies and dams constructed by Maharashtra government using explosive materials.

The application stated that materials like gelatine were used without obtaining permission and requested that cases be lodged against offenders under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code.

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