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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Environmental clearance: Pune court rules in favour of Zensar Technologies

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had lodged a complaint against the company in 2015 under Section 15 of Environment Protection Act, 1986.

pune Updated: May 15, 2019 16:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
The MPCB had filed a private complaint in 2015 with the
The MPCB had filed a private complaint in 2015 with the(Getty Images/iStockphoto/ REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
         

A sessions court in Pune granted relief to Zensar Technologies in the case of missing environment clearance for a shed owned by the Indian branch of the multinational software company, on Tuesday. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had lodged a complaint against the company in 2015 under Section 15 of Environment Protection Act, 1986, which attracts five years in prison upon conviction.

"As there is no sufficient ground to proceed against the accused, RCC No. 4433/2015 (MPCB's original application) is dismissed under Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure," read the court order.

The decision was taken by additional sessions Judge NK Maner on March 18 and a copy of the order was made available on Tuesday. 

The MPCB had filed a private complaint in 2015 with theCJM. The case against Zensar Technologies shed was a part of the action taken by MPCB between 2014 and 2017 against 80 major projects in Pune.

"Theoffice memorandum of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change states that industrial shed has been exempted from obtaining environment clearance. The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) overlooked the fact and issued process (against Zensar)," said advocate Saurabh Kulkarni.  

A trial court had taken cognisance of the complaint on June 2016 and had subsequently issued summon notices to Zensar Technologies representatives, including the then chairman Ganesh Natarajan. Advocate Kulkarni had filed a review application on behalf of the software company in September 2017. A sessions court in Pune took note of the review application and dismissed the complaint.

The company representative had cited a Ministry of Environment notification dated December 22, 2014, about non-requirement of environment clearance by spaces used as industrial sheds, schools, colleges or hostels.

The MPCB, however, had cited a notification dated September 9, 2006, by the same ministry that necessitated environment clearance for constructions that span over 20,000 square metre and below 1,50,000 square metre. However, a major portion of the company was built before the notification was issued, according to the judge.

First Published: May 15, 2019 16:37 IST

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