SC gives relief to owners of resorts around Corbett Tiger Reserve
Resort and hotel owners around Corbett Tiger Reserve have got temporary relief from the Supreme Court. Admitting a special leave petition of Corbett Riverside Resort, the apex court on Monday ruled that till July 27 “there shall be no demolition of the property of the petitioner”.Updated: Jul 24, 2018 22:22 IST
Resort and hotel owners around Corbett Tiger Reserve have got temporary relief from the Supreme Court. Admitting a special leave petition (SLP) of Corbett Riverside Resort, the apex court on Monday ruled that till July 27 “there shall be no demolition of the property of the petitioner”.
The SC, in its order, said: “Let a copy of this petition be served upon the standing counsel for the state of Uttarakhand. List on 27.7.2018. Till the next date, there shall be no demolition of the property of the petitioner.”
The SLP was moved in the apex court by Corbett Riverside Resort in connection with the June 19 order of Uttarakhand high court order.
In another special leave petition in the matter filed by Navin Chandra Suyal on the high court’s June 18 and June 19 orders, the SC on July 19 ordered that, “Having heard Mr Salman Khurshid, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, we are only inclined to modify the order passed by the high court to the extent that the competent authority shall proceed keeping in view the principles of natural justice and follow due procedure for the purpose of eviction/demolition”. HT has copies of both the orders.
The apex court pointed out that “petitioner will be at liberty to put forth his stand as regards his right, title and interest or any other claim before the competent authority and observation made by the high court in this regard shall not come in his way till the competent authority decides the claim. No coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner”.
Surendra Pal Singh, general secretary of the Corbett hotels and resorts association, said the July 23 SLP was moved Mukund Prasad, owner of Corbett Riverside Resort and July 19 SLP, was moved another resort owner near Corbett, Navin Chandra Suyal .
“The SC orders have given us some relief as it clearly says that before going ahead with any demolition, due procedure needs to be followed and competent authority has to decide all the claims on the matter”.
On June 1, chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh in his affidavit had submitted before the HC that 44 resort owners around Corbett Tiger Reserve had encroached revenue and forest land in Nainital and Almora districts.
Of the 44 resorts, 30 had encroached upon the revenue land while 14 had encroached the forest land, including the catchment of the Kosi river, said the petitioner.
On June 14, the HC constituted a four-member empowered committee to check and verify on ground level encroachments of land around Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The committee submitted its report to the court on June 18, listing the encroachments around the Corbett.
In its June 19 order, the HC has directed the principal conservator of forests to register cases against all the persons who have encroached upon the forest land under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Indian Forest Act, 1927, within three months.
In its June 20 order, the HC had said, “as and when complaint/FIR is lodged by the forest authorities , same shall be promptly registered and inquired into and investigation shall be brought to its logical conclusion, resulting in putting up of challan without any inordinate delay to safeguard the forest land from unscrupulous people”.
The directions were given by the division bench of Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mayank Mainali, chairperson of the Ramnagar-based NGO, Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha in 2012.
The petitioner had highlighted the environmental concerns in the wake of the construction of hotels, resorts and other properties around Corbett Tiger Reserve.
First Published: Jul 24, 2018 22:22 IST