Saturday, December 2, 2023

Bombay High Court disposes petition seeking removal of illegal machinery from Futala Tank

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The Bombay High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation filed seeking direction that the installation of musical fountain and associated machinery inside the body of the Futala Tank is illegal and against the principle of public trust.

The petitioner further seeks declaration that the construction of Viewer’s Gallery on the bank of Futala Tank is illegal and seeks removal of musical fountain and associated machinery installed inside the body of the tank and further seeks direction to restore the tank to its original natural state.  

It is submitted by the respondents that the Futala Tank is situated at Nagpur and no part of cause of action has arisen within the territorial jurisdiction of the High Court.

According to the petitioner, the Court is seized with a PIL  of 2013 and the High  Court has been monitoring the said petition since 2013. All the departments as well as authorities concerned have been made answerable to the High  Court at its principal seat. The  Court also has passed an order in that PIL  that leave of Court is necessary before undertaking any construction on areas identified as wetland in the National Wetland Atlas by the Central Government.  

Government Advocate apprised the Court  that there is a report of Collector, Nagpur that there is no wetland in Nagpur.  

The petitioner is not seeking relief in respect of wetland throughout the State of Maharashtra, but has limited its petition in respect of Futala Tank which is situated at Nagpur. In view of that, the Nagpur Bench of this Court can exercise its territorial jurisdiction over the subject matter. If the petitioner so desires, the petitioner may approach the Nagpur Bench. In that event, all contentions of respective parties are kept open , observed the  Division Bench of Justice  S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice S.G. Dige.

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