Mumbai: The Bombay High Court will decide on January 31 whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has the jurisdiction to decide on the petitions filed by and against the Lavasa Corporation Limited.
While the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest said that the tribunal can decide the issue, Lavasa was of the opinion that it was too late to place the matter before the NGT.
"All the reliefs sought by Lavasa and the other petitioners who are challenging the construction are now a subject matter of the Green Tribunal," Additional Solicitor General D J Khambata told the court.
Lavasa was of the opinion that it was too late to place the matter before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Lavasa, however, said that the petitions were filed in the high court in December 2010 and hence there was a long delay before placing the matter before the tribunal.
A division bench of justices SA Bobade and VK Tahilramani, however, said there was not much delay and added that it would hear all sides on the jurisdiction issue on January 31.
The court had in the last hearing raised a question of jurisdiction to hear the cases pertaining to Lavasa after the tribunal was set up.
Ashish Mehta, lawyer for Suniti SR, who has filed a PIL seeking action against Lavasa for illegal construction, told the court that the NGT is not competent to decide the issues raised by them in their petition.
Mehta also filed an additional affidavit which said that even the MoEF does not have the authority to grant clearance to Lavasa.
"On the contrary State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) of Maharashtra is the Competent Authority to deal with," states the affidavit.
Noting that a bad precedent is being set by Lavasa, the affidavit says that there is no provision for "Post-Facto" clearance in Environmental Impact Assessment Notification 2006.