Lavasa Corporation Ltd wants the Bombay high court, and not the National Green Tribunal, to hear and decide its petition challenging the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) action against it over its hill city project in Pune district.
Last month, the high court had asked petitioners and respondents in the Lavasa case to consider whether the appropriate forum to decide the case should actually be the tribunal, set up under the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010.
On Monday, Shekhar Naphade, counsel for Lavasa, said he was worried the tribunal may not have the jurisdiction to decide the challenge to the constitutional validity of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, and certain provisions of the Environment Protection Act.
Additional solicitor general Darius Khambata, representing MoEF, said all issues raised in the petition filed by Lavasa as well as most of the public interest litigation pertaining to the hill city project was under the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
During the course of the hearing on the petition and the bunch of PILs earlier, the division bench of justice Sharad Bobde and justice VK Tahilramani said the tribunal was the appropriate forum for deciding issues pertaining to environmental clearance.
The court has posted the matter for hearing on January 30 when the final decision on whether to transfer the petition and the PILs to the Green Tribunal is likely to be taken.
Lavasa Corporation has filed a petition challenging proceedings initiated by MoEF for going ahead with its hill city project without obtaining mandatory environmental clearance.
The MoEF had, on November 9, granted environmental clearance for the first phase of the hill city project covering 700 hectares of land on which the construction of 257 buildings had already started.