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Calcutta High Court directs DG Environment and Heritage to consider petition regarding change in nature of land

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The Calcutta High Court has directed the Director General of Environment and Heritage Department of the Municipal Corporation to decide the petitioner’s representation regarding change in nature of land due by the Private Respondents.

The case of the petitioner (Ramyani Ghosal) is that the house of the petitioner is surrounded by a plot, comprising of valuable trees and a big pond.

The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the surrounding area comprised of a Basti of around 50-60 huts and the residents of that Basti were being forced to vacate their houses by the private respondents and that the nature of land was being changed.

When the matter was taken up on April 25, the Counsel for the petitioner pointed out that the petitioner has already filed a representation on January 31, 2022, making this complaint to the competent authority.

The Counsel for the respondent Municipal Corporation submitted that the Director General of Environment and Heritage Department of the Municipal Corporation is the competent authority to decide the petitioner’s representation and the said representation has already been addressed to him.

At this stage, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj said they do not think it proper to accept the objection of the private respondents that the petitioner has the remedy to approach the National Green Tribunal.

Having regard to the circumstances of the case and considering the nature of allegations which have been made, the petition is disposed of by the Bench with the direction to the Director General of Environment and Heritage Department of the Municipal Corporation to decide the petitioner’s representation dated January 31, 2022, after giving opportunity of hearing to all the concerned parties and by passing a reasoned order on conducting the enquiry, if required, as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of two months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.

“Since no affidavits have been filed, therefore, the allegations made in the petition will not be treated as final. The writ petition is accordingly disposed of,” the order read.

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