The Tribunal dismissed the plea of Janahit Seva Samiti saying the petition was filed after a delay of 294 days
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has refused to entertain a petition challenging the environment clearance (EC) granted to 9,900MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Park in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district in West India on the ground that the plea was time barred, reports PTI.
The Tribunal dismissed the plea of Janahit Seva Samiti, an NGO, challenging the 26 November 2010 EC granted by Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to the project, saying the petition was filed after a delay of 294 days on 17 September 2011 and hence was "grossly barred by time".
As per the NGT Act, a plea can be filed within 30 days of passing of an order sought to be challenged and the Tribunal, to its satisfaction, can condone a further delay of 60 days.
"As stated earlier, this Tribunal being a statutory authority is bound by the provisions of the statute and cannot traverse beyond provisions of the NGT Act. Under Section-16 (relating to appellate jurisdiction of NGT) there is clear bar not to entertain appeal filed beyond 60 days," a bench headed by Tribunal's Acting Chairperson Justice AS Naidu said.
"Though this Tribunal is liberal in condoning the delay, as and when it finds sufficient reasons and is not super-technical, but then being a statutory tribunal it cannot ignore the period stipulated in the statute.
"In view of the discussions made above, we are not inclined to condone the delay and dismiss this petition.
Consequently, the appeal also stands dismissed," it added.
The plea was filed by Maharashtra-based NGO Janahit Seva Samiti contending that "project is likely to cause hazard to the environment as well as ecology".
The NGO had pleaded that the NGT Act came into force from 18 October 2010, but the Tribunal started functioning only from June 2011, and it (NGO) took all "effective and diligent steps to file the appeal as early as possible".
The plea was "strongly opposed" by MoEF, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, contending that delay could not be condoned as they have "substantially gone ahead with the project", incurred huge expenses and "any hindrance at this stage would cause great prejudice".
The bench noted that as the Tribunal started functioning only from June 2011, the Supreme Court had in a judgement extended the period for filing an appeal by 60 days commencing from 30 May 2011 and "thus the last date for filing an appeal was extended till 30 July 2011".
"The appellant (NGO) failed to avail the opportunity granted by the Supreme Court and did not file the appeal within extended period too.
"The appeal was filed only in the month of September 2011. Thus, the same is grossly barred by time," the bench said.
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Drugs, drinks, women, gambling, spot fixing! What more do we need to shut down the IPL? Cleaning up the mess is the answer and the responsibility lies with the BCCI, the IPL Council and the owners of the franchises
Drugs, drinks, women, gambling, spot fixing: Sounds like a cross between an early seventies rock festival and a sleazy bookies annual convention in Mumbai, with guests from Pakistan. No, this is the Indian Premier League (IPL), the jewel in the crown of Indian cricket and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
No wonder Kirti Azad, a key member of Kapil’s Devils, the team which won the 1983 cricket World Cup, has gone on a fast demanding that the IPL be scrapped. Azad may be asking for too much. Clean-up, yes; obliteration, no. All would agree that the 2012 edition of IPL has become something like the Augean Stables. And we need a Hercules to divert the Ganges and clean up the IPL which has created a stench worse than Chennai’s Cooum River and the Buckingham Canal.
What more do we need to shut down the show, asks Azad. But let us see if there are any positives to offset these activities of IPL players that offend the nostrils. Let us look at the negatives first.
Five uncapped Indian players in the IPL were caught in a sting operation by a TV channel that implicated them in spot-fixing. BCCI, which seems to have lost control over the IPL, has suspended the five players pending an in-house investigation. No one knows or is saying why the police have not been brought in because unlicensed gambling is a crime in India.
On Sunday night, the police raided a rave party in a hotel in Juhu, Mumbai, and rounded up nearly a hundred people, 58 men and 38 women, all young. Among them were two IPL players and the children of so-called celebrities. The police found 110 grams of cocaine, a large number of Ecstasy tablets and charas.
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, joint owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, was involved in a brawl in the Wankhede Stadium with the officials of the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), which banned him from the entering the stadium for five years. Khan said he was objecting to a security guard “roughing up” his little daughter while the Association claimed Khan was drunk and disorderly.
Luke Pomersbach, the Australian playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, was arrested on charges of molesting Zohal Hamid, a woman who is a US citizen. He was given bail by a Delhi court. His passport was seized and he cannot leave the country until the police investigation is complete.
The alleged molestation happened at five in the morning, after a drunken all-night party in which Zohal was present throughout along with her fiance. Pomersbach got full support from Siddharth Mallya, who used foul language on Twitter while claiming that Zohal was a woman of doubtful character. Zohal has filed a defamation case against Siddharth, son of liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
Azad’s claim is that these incidents are enough to close down the IPL; and who is to say that such things will not happen in future?
The positives in favour of continuing the IPL with a clean-up are that for five years the ILP matches have been providing good, wholesome entertainment for tens of millions of cricket fans all over the world; even Indians in the US are following these matches closely.
There will always be a few rotten ones but we cannot tar the whole bunch with the same brush.
And then there is the humongous amount of money involved in the IPL which is not just a yearly international cricket tournament but a big industry. The turnover since the time IPL started must have neared or crossed $1 billion. You cannot closed own a flourishing, billion dollar industry by a fiat. And there are thousands of contracts, many of them intertwining, which cannot be cancelled without creating a mess which would take years to settle. Cleaning up the IPL is the answer and the responsibility lies with the BCCI, the IPL Council and the owners of the franchises.
First, impose discipline on the players and the owners. From the beginning the players have been forced to attend parties after every match in which liquor flows like water, attended by women who most of the time stay on drinking till the parties get over just as the sun is rising.Therefore, the first step is no boozing for the players, no partying; and lights out at 11pm. The rest of the clean-up will follow automatically.
(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch the Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at [email protected].)