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PUCL, June 2003

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE : ANDHRA PRADESH : AT HYDERABAD

WEDNESDAY THE SIXTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER
ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY FIVE

::PRESENT::

THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE: C.V.N.SASTRI

WRIT PETITION MISC.PETITION NO.6021 OF 1995
and WVMP.No.1033 and 1034 OF 1995

WPMP.No.6021/95

Between:

SAKTI A Voluntary Social Organisation, for the
upliftment of tribal people (Regd.No.76/85) Rampachodavaram,
E.G.Dist., rep. by its Director Dr.P.Sivaramakrishna
... Petitioner/Petitioner in W.P.No.4882/95
on the file of the High Court)
And

1. Govt. A.P.rep. by its Principal Secretary, Energy, Forest, Environment, Science and Technology Depts., Secretariat, Hyderabad
2. The Principal Chief Conservator of forests, A.P., Hyd
3. The District Forest Officer, Kakinada, E.G.Dist.
4. M/s. Godavari Plywoods, rep. by its Managing Director, 5-10-195/2, I Floor, Fathe Maidan Road, Hyderabad
... Respondents/Respondents indo)
5. Govt. of A.P.Industries and commerce Dept., rep.by its Secretary, Sectt., Hyderabad.
6. Govt. of India, Ministry of Environment and forests, rep. by its secretary, Parishrama Bhavan, CCU, Complex, Lodi Road, Newdelhi
(Respondents 5 and 6 are impleaded as per court order dt.16-8-95 in WPMP.No.17397/95)
7. M/s.Godavari Plywoods Ltd., National Employees union, regd. No.496 rep.by its president Rampachodavaram, E.G.Dist.
R.7 is impleaded as per court order dt.6-9-95 in W.P.M.P.No.14319/95)

Petition under Sec.151 of CPC praying that in the circumstances stated in the affidavit filed in the writ petition, the High Court will be pleased to direct the respondents 1 to 3 not to permit the felling of trees in the forests of Andhra Pradesh for non-forest purposes, pending W.P.No.4882/95 on the file of the High court.


WVMP.No.1033/95
Between:
M/s Godavari plywoods Ltd., having its regd. office at 6-3-1186/11, Begumpet, Hyd, rep.by its chairman and Managing Director.

... Petitioner/Respondent No.4 in
W.P.No.4882/95 on the file of the High Court)
And

1. Sakti, Voluntary Social Organisation, (Reg.No.76/85), Rampachodavaram, E.G.Dist, rep.by its Director
2. Govt. of A.P. rep.by its principal Secretary,
... Respondent/Petr.indo Energy, Forests, Environment science and technology Dept., A.P. Sectt., Hyd.
3. The Principal Chief Conservator, of Forests, A.P.Hyd.
4. The District Forests Officer, Kakinada, E.G.Dt.
... Respondents/ Respondents indo)

WVMP.No.1034/95:
Between:

M/s.Godavari Plywoods Ltd., National Employees union (Regn.No.496/rep.by its president, Rampachodavaram, E.G.Dist.
... Petitioner/Proposed respondent in
W.P.No.4882/95 on the file of the High Court
And

1. Sakti, Voluntary Social Organisation, (Reg.No.76/85), Rampachodavaram, E.G.Dist, rep.by its Director, Rampachodavaram, E.G.Dist.

... Respondent/Petitioner indo)
2. Govt. of A.P., Rep.by its Principal Secretary, Energy, Forests, Environment, Science & Technology Dept., A.P. Sett., Hyd.

3. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A.P., Hyd.
4. The Dist. Forest officer, Kakinada, E.G.Dist.
5. M/s. Godavari Plywood Ltd.
having its regd.office at 6-3-1186/11, Begumpet, Hyd.rep.by its Chairman and Managing Director,

... Respondents/Respondents indo)

Petition under sec.151 of CPC praying that in the circumstances stated in the counter-affidavit filed in the writ petition No.4882/95, the High Court will be pleased to vacate the interim order of the High Court dt.15-3-95 and made in WPMP.No.6021/95.

These petitions coming on for hearing, upon perusing the petitions and the affidavit filed in the writ petition No.4882/95, and the interim order of the High Court dt.15-3-95 and made in WPMP.No.6021/95, and the counter affidavit filed therein and upon hearing the arguments of Mr.G.Manohar, Advocate for the petitioner in WPMP.No.6021/95 and respondent No.1 in WVMP.No.1033/95 and 1034/95 and of Mr.Y.Visweswara Rao, Advocate for the respondent No.4, in WPMP.No.6021/95 and petitioner in WVMP.No.1033/95, and of Mr.Venugopal Naidu, Advocate for the respondent No.7 (impleaded as 7th respondent as per court order dt.6-9-95 in WPMP.No.14319/95), in W.PMP.No.6021/95, and petitioner in WVMP.No.1034/95, the court made the following order:-

Sakti, a voluntary social organisation for the upliftment of tribal people, Rampachodavaram, East Godavari District through its Director has filed this writ petition seeking a writ of mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction declaring the action of the respondents in using or permitting the use of forest land for non-forest purposes including the felling of trees in forests of Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the scheduled areas, is contrary to the A.P. scheduled areas Land Transfer Regulations, 1959 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the fundamental rights guaranteed to the tribal people of Andhra Pradesh under Articles 14 and 21 of the constitution of India and for a consequential direction to the respondents not to use the forest land for non-forest purposes and pass such other further orders as are deemed fit and proper.

By order dt.15-3-95 passed in W.P.M.P.No.6021/95 this court granted in interim direction to respondents 1 to 3 not to permit the felling of trees in the forests of Andhra Pradesh for non-forest purposes pending disposal of the writ petition. M/s. Godavari Plywoods, the 4th respondent in the writ petition has filed WVMP.NO.1033/95, for vacating the interim order. Likewide the employees union of M/s.Godavari Plywoods, which got itself impleaded as the 7th respondent in the writ petition, filed WVMP.No.1034/95 to vacate the self same interim order which was granted in WPMP.No.6021/95.

It is argued on behalf of the respondents 4 and 7 that the petitioner has nolocus standi to file the writ petition and the writ petition is liable to be dismissed on that short ground. It is further contended that the 4th respondent-company which manufacturers plywoods requires timber as raw material for manufacturing plywood and as per scheme sanctioned by the BIFR for the rehabilitation of the company vide order dt.6-1-95 passed in case No.47 of 1990, the 4th respondent company is entitled for the supply of timber from the state Government which offered to supply the same to the 4th respondent and that by virtue of the interim order granted in this writ petition the 4th respondent is being prevented from getting the necessary raw material and, therefore, the interim order should be vacated. A copy of the said order dated 6-1-95 and the sanctioned scheme formulated by the BIFR are produced beforeme.

The proceedings of the BIFR reveal that the state Government has agreed for making available to the 4th respondent uninterrupted supply of main raw materials required by the company on the strength of which BIFR sanctioned the scheme for rehabilitation. The said scheme envisages the 4th respondent company to enter into agreement with the forest department for the supply of necessary timber. It is admitted by the learned counsel for the 4th respondent that so far there is no specific order passed by the state Government granting permission to the 4th respondent to fell trees in any forest areas and no agreement is entered into by the 4th respondent with the forest department for the supply of necessary raw materials as envisaged by the sanctioned scheme.

The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that as per the provisions of the forest Conservation Act, sanction of the Central Government is mandatory for felling trees.

Having regard to these facts, I consider it appropriate to dispose of these M.Ps.with a direction to the 4th respondent to approach the competent authorities for the grant of necessary permission for the supply of the raw materials required by the company as per the sanctioned scheme formulated by the BIFR. On any such representation being made in this behalf by the 4th respondent, the concerned authorities will dispose of the same and pass appropriate orders thereon in accordance with law within three months thereafter, The MPMP. and the MVMPs. are disposed of accordingly.

Sd/- Syed Ismail,
Asst.Registrar.

//true copy//
For Asst.Registrar.

To

1. The Prl.Secretary, Energy, Forest Environment, Science and Technology Dept. Govt. of A.P., Hyd.
2. The Principal, Chief conservator of forests, A.P. Hyd.
3. District Forest officer, Kakinada, E.G.Dt.
4. The Secretary, Industries and commerce Dept., Secretariat, Hyd.
5. The Secretary, Ministry of Environment and forests, Govt. of India, Paryavaran Bhavan, CGU complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi
6. One C.C.to Mr.Y.Visweswara Rao, Advocate (OPUC)
7. one spare copy.

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