the High Court of Uttarakhand dismissed an allegedly filed petition for environmental protection, for abuse of PIL jurisdiction while noting that it was a highly reasoned plea, filed at the request of an unknown person or entity .
A divisional bench of Chief Judge Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma noted that the unknown person or entity is simply using the petitioners as a front. Therefore, the petitioners are nothing but puppets in the hands of an unknown puppeteer, the bench added.
The petitioners, represented by lawyer DK Joshi, have requested instructions from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to revoke forestry permits and environmental permits granted before February 2021 to the Rishi Ganga and Tapovan-Vishnugarh hydroelectric projects. . They also called for projects that are already under construction to be canceled. The advocacy also aimed to call on the State of Uttarakhand to ban blasting, riverbed mining and rock crushing activities throughout the Rishi-Ganga and sub-basin region. Dhauli Ganga.
According to the Court, the applicants had not succeeded in convincing them of their status as âsocial activistsâ. In this regard, the Court noted,
“They neither mentioned whether they had spearheaded a social movement, nor raised a social issue on any previous occasion, nor presented any evidence to show that they were part of a non-governmental organization or of an organization of social activists. “
The advocacy, apart from revoking forestry and environmental permits and canceling ongoing projects, was aimed at obtaining instructions against the NTPC and Rishi Ganga Hydro Power Ltd. compliance with and violations of various environmental standards and recommendations of the Supreme Court’s expert body.
It also aimed to compensate affected families who have lost one or more family members. He also demanded instructions against the State of Uttarakhand to ensure the safe and secure rehabilitation of the village of Raini and the ecological restoration of the affected areas; the promoters of the hydroelectric project can give the cost of the rehabilitation and restoration works of the affected areas.
The petitioners sought instructions for the defendants to be held liable for criminal negligence in continuing the unscientific and harmful construction and operation of hydroelectric projects in the disaster-prone area without an early warning system, causing the loss of more than two hundred lives and the initiation of legal proceedings against the culprits in accordance with the law.
Costs of Rs. 10,000 were imposed on the petitioner to be deposited into the High Court Attorneys Welfare Fund.
Title: Sangram Singh & Ors c. Union of India & Ors.
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