The Karnataka HC order had said that the principal bench of the NGT at New Delhi did not have jurisdiction in the case.

NGT to hear Bellandur Lake case SC overrules Karnataka HC stay
news Law Tuesday, August 08, 2017 - 20:30

The Supreme Court on Tuesday made way for the National Green Tribunal to hear the controversial Bellandur Lake case on August 9 as scheduled earlier.

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation against the Karnataka High Court order made on June 16 which stayed the NGT proceedings in the case.

“The Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that as per the judgment in Shiv Kant Sharma case, the High Court of Karnataka cannot entertain a writ petition when a statutory remedy is available before the Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Court further observed that it was distressed with the manner in which the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka stayed the proceedings of the Tribunal,” NBF said in a statement.

“Hearing the submissions of the parties, the Hon'ble court stayed the High Court's direction staying the suo moto proceedings before the Green Tribunal, in effect reinstating the lake rejuvenation proceedings. The National Green Tribunal will resume its hearing tomorrow,” it added.

The Karnataka HC order had said that the principal bench of the NGT at New Delhi did not have jurisdiction in the case, and the Chennai or the southern bench of the NGT should hear the matter. The HC was hearing a petition filed by Shashi Distilleries, one of the businesses told to shut shop by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board on the directions of the green tribunal.

NBF’s counsel Sajan Poovayya submitted that Shashi Distilleries was not a party before the NGT suo moto proceedings.

“If it is aggrieved by the order dated 19.04.2017 passed by the Tribunal, it should have filed an appeal before this (Supreme) court under Sec 22 of the NGT Act. The Respondent was affected by KSPCB's closure notice dated 12.05.2017 u/s 33A of the Water Act, it should have appealed against such order u/s 33B of the Water Act,” the petitioner’s submission read.

The apex court also contended that the order withdrawing the closure notice to industries by the KSPCB as directed by the NGT has become invalid.

The SC further allowed the NBF to send notices to other parties involved in the case.   

In February 2017, the NGT had taken suo moto cognisance of the deplorable condition of the lake when it caught fire for the second time and had sent notices to all state agencies responsible for maintaining the lake.

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