Published: Tuesday 31 January 2006

court the court
They have no website. It's a mere webpage but its brilliant. The forest case update is an e-newsletter plus a webpage containing an archive of the e-newsletter. Why should a e-newsletter be worth a review? The web-based e-newsletter is to disseminate information on cases regarding forest and wildlife in the Supreme Court of India (sc). If anyone has been to the courts, one knows how difficult it is to find information, leave alone make sense of it and weave a time line of torturously long and complicated cases. The update does yeoman service in making sense of the cases before the sc with regards to forests and wildlife.

And why is that important? Since 1996, the sc has played the role of a key decision maker and a critical monitoring agency outside the ambit of the regular executive extensions of the government in the issue of wildlife and forest. As the two authors of the e-newsletter, Ritwick Dutta (an advocate) and Kanchi Kohli (an environmental activist) put it, "In India today no dead trees, grasses, driftwood etc can be removed except with the prior permission of the Supreme Court. Also no forest/National Park or Sanctuary can be dereserved without prior approval of the Supreme Court. Such developments in the Supreme Court are of crucial concern".

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