The Bombay high court on Friday gave the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) one last opportunity to pass the final order on granting post-facto environmental clearance (EC) to the Lavasa Corporation Ltd., for the construction of their hill station project in Pune district.
The division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani has given MoEF three weeks to pass the final order. “Considering the gravity and public interest of the
matter, we make it clear that the time granted today is the last chance given to the Union ministry.”
“If the ministry fails to pass an order within three weeks, the court shall hear and decide Lavasa’s petition on deemed clearance, based on merits,” the judges said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the Lavasa Corporation, challenging the MoEF order issued on January 17, declaring that the hill station project was taken up without obtaining the mandatory EC.
On May 31, however, the expert appraisal committee of the ministry recommended post-facto EC for the first phase of the hill station.
On Friday, additional solicitor general Darius Khambata sought three weeks for passing the final order stating the ministry could not pass the order, as Lavasa, on September 13, submitted further submissions on the aspect of regularisation and the ministry had to consider the submissions before passing final order.