Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (December 7, 2022)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 07 December 2022
Down To Earth brings you top environmental cases heard in Supreme Court, high courts & National Green Tribunal

Dairy farms in residential areas

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to look into the matter of dairy farms operating in the residential colony of Chiranjiv Vihar, Ghaziabad.

The state pollution control board has to submit an action taken report by June 30, 2023.

Drugs for rare diseases

It is the central government’s prerogative to decide whether to completely exempt drugs for treatment of rare diseases from levy of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), Central Good and Services Tax (CGST), Specific Goods Tax (SGT) and customs duty, the Supreme Court said December 5, 2022. 

"No writ of mandamus can be issued directing the respondent / Union of India to exempt the drugs from the payment of any tax or customs duty," the bench of justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar noted. 

Further, no writ of mandamus can be issued directing the Government of India to permit import of drugs for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) directly without approaching the Centre of Excellence (skill development bodies set up under the Union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship), the apex court added. “There may be a number of reasons why the drugs are to be cleared by the Centre of Excellence.”

The court was responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting it to pass a writ directing the Government of India to completely exempt drugs for treatment of rare diseases from the levy of IGST, CGST, SGT and customs duty. 

The PIL also wanted import of drugs for treatment of SMA be done directly “without approaching the Centre of Excellence”.

Project Tiger

An updated status report on the state of the Project Tiger activities will be submitted soon, the Additional Solicitor General told the Supreme Court.

A PIL was filed by advocate Anupam Tripathi regarding protection of tigers from poaching, poisoning and hunting.

Organ transplant

The matter of requirement of domicile certificate for organ tranplant has to be examined by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the bench comprising Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha of the Supreme Court said.

The country’s top court asked the petitioner to submit a representation to the secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “The matter needs to be examined at an appropriate level and a policy decision taken on the appropriate course of action to be adopted to remedy the grievance expeditiously,” the order stated. 

The petitioner, Gift of Love Adventure Foundation, has sought relief in the context of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994.

The grievance of the petitioner is that the requirement of obtaining a domicile certificate for registering an organ transplantation is being imposed by many states in terms of which patients have to submit a domicile certificate, if they wish to register in the cadaver transplant registry.

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