The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it would decide whether the case pertaining to alleged irregularities by Lavasa township near Pune can be transferred to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) — set up to handle environment protection related issues.
A division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and S.C. Gupte posted the matter for hearing on November 21.
Lavasa Corporation, a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), had challenged in High Court the November 25, 2010 notice issued by MoEF directing stay on construction for not obtaining mandatory environment clearances before starting the project in 2004.
During an earlier hearing in 2011, the High Court had asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Lavasa Corporation Ltd to consider approaching NGT.
While the MoEF said the issues raised by Lavasa could be looked into by the tribunal, Lavasa had opposed the suggestion saying that they had approached the High Court in November 2010 and it would be too late to take the dispute to the tribunal at this stage.
Some social activists, who had filed public interest litigations challenging the conditional nod given to Lavasa by MoEF later, also argued that the tribunal was not competent to decide on issues raised in their petition about illegalities in the project.
The MoEF had at a later stage, after conducting an inquiry, given clearance to the existing 257 buildings.
Of the total project which was supposed to come up on 5,000 hectares of plot, construction has come up on 700 hectares.