The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today recalled its earlier order of issuing bailable warrants against the resident commissioners of five states and one UT for not appearing before it during proceedings on protection of biodiversity.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson granted the relief to the officials after their counsel assured that in future, there will be no absence and they will carry out the directions of the tribunal without default.
The bench said bailable warrants issued against the Resident Commissioners of Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab and Andaman & Nicobar would not be executed.
The tribunal had earlier issued bailable warrant against the Resident Commissioners of Gujarat, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab and Tripura for not appearing before it despite issuance of notice.
It had also issued warrants against the officers of Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. When the matter was taken up during the day, the bench said “let all of them come here and go to Tihar jail and be guests of the state”.
The green panel was hearing a plea filed by Pune resident Chandra Bhal Singh alleging that various states and union territories have “failed” to pay attention to the unique biodiversity of the country and sought implementation of provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.
It had earlier issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), National Biodiversity Authority and State Biodiversity Boards in the matter.
The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, aims at preserving biological diversity in India and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
Singh had alleged that various states have not only “failed” to pay proper attention to the unique biodiversity prevalent in India, but also not undertaken their statutory obligations with “seriousness and have remained oblivious in discharging the statutory provision in last couple of years.”
Seeking setting up of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the local level in every state under Section 41 of Biological Biodiversity Act 2002, the plea claimed that several State Biodiversity Boards have not constituted the BMCs for “promoting conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biological diversity”.