Mumbai News

Bombay HC comes down hard on NGO for PILs on same issue – Hindustan Times

NAVI MUMBAI The Bombay High Court came down heavily on an NGO Vanshakti for filing PILs that relate to the same wetland which were also subject matter of National Green Tribunal orders.

The HC bench of justice G S Patel and justice Gauri Godse in its October 17 order on a set of petitions, stated that it is disturbing that Nandkumar Pawar, who is the original applicant with NGT, is an activist with NGO Vanshakti which has filed before it several PILs (106 of 2021, 13476 of 2018) relating to the same wetlands.

The NGO argued that relief sought are distinct whereas NGT application is only to implement at State government notification.

The Court additionally remarked that it entirely disapproves of this attempt to canvas the same points at different forums. We will not have the slightest hesitation in dismissing the PIL and even making an order of exemplary costs if required.

“I am shocked at the honourable High Court comments,” said petitioner Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan. “Panje is a big wetland and huge source of fishing and our interest is only to protect the rights of the community,” Pawar, who received death threats for approaching courts to save the biodiversity-rich area,” said.

“Our humble appeal to High Court is to examine at the fundamental issue of violations on ground,” said B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation which has been running the campaign #SavePanjeWetland in association with Pawar.

Both Kumar and Pawar pointed out that CIDCO itself designated Panje wetland as a holding pond as a flood mitigation measure and the same organisation irresponsibly sold the area to big business interests. They asked “where will the flood water go?”