Supreme Court Finds Fault With NGT Stay Orders On Rushikonda Tourism Project Based On MP's Letter

Supreme Court Finds Fault With NGT Stay Orders On Rushikonda Tourism Project Based On MP's Letter - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday found fault with the orders issued by the National Green Tribunal  (NGT) which halted the tourism project construction works at Rushikonda Hills in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh State government has gone for an appeal against the NGT order staying the construction of a complex taken up by the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC)  at Rushikonda in Visakhapatnam. A vacation bench of Justices B R Gavai and Hima Kohli said it thought the NGT jurisdiction was available to persons who can't approach courts.    "What is this, the National Green Tribunal is also entertaining letters from Members of Parliament. We thought that this jurisdiction was available for have-nots and persons who can't approach courts like ordinary citizens and not legislators," the bench observed. The Supreme Court held that only letters written by those who cannot reach the courts should be treated as petitions and not by an MP, and posted the matter for hearing on Wednesday.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who presented the arguments on behalf of the AP government said that the APTDC project is expected to provide employment to 300 people and that the AP government had invested Rs 180 crore in the project. The NGT first passed an ex-parte order staying the project, and later confirmed the order by rejecting the State's objection on May 20. The stay was passed when 50% of the work was over. The NGT had issued stay orders based on a letter given by the MP K Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, which he submitted in his arguments.

The Supreme Court found fault with the conduct of NGT issuing a stay on the project. The bench asked for a copy of the judgment which says NGT is a tribunal subordinate to the high court under Article 227 of the Constitution. To which the counsel sought time to find this out and the matter was posted for hearing on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that the Narsapuram MP had earlier approached the NGT alleging that the construction work was being carried out in gross violation of environmental norms and based on his petition the NGT issued orders stalling the works.

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