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Kerala High Court rejects PIL seeking conversion of dry leaves into compost manure

The Kerala High Court has disposed of a Public Interest Litigation filed seeking direction to make sufficient provisions for converting dry leaves and fossils of trees into compost manure.

The PIL filed by one Sreenivasan E. has sought for the following reliefs:

i) Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction directing respondents 1 (State of Kerala) and respondent 2 (Secretary, Local Self Government Department) to make sufficient provisions for converting dry leaves and fossils of trees into compost manure and to issue proper guidelines to dispose dry leaves and fossils of trees in an eco-friendly manner, without causing nuisance to the public;

 
b) Issue a Writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ, order or direction directing the 2 nd respondent to consider and pass appropriate orders on  representation within a time stipulated by this Court.

According to the petitioner, he is residing in a thickly-populated area and that he is a social worker and member of the River Protection Council.

Grievance of the petitioner is the absence of any provision to dispose of dry leaves and fossils of trees in the small residential plots in the thickly populated area.

Since there is no provision to dispose of the dry leaves and fossils, the residents are choosing to dispose of it by way of burning the same, which causes severe health problems and danger to the environment.

Therefore, the petitioner preferred representation dated 7.11.2022 before the Government to provide sufficient mechanism to dispose of the dry leaves and fossils accumulated in the thickly populated area. Since there are no positive results on the representation, the petitioner approached this court by filing the petition.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly is of the view that the High Court cannot issue a writ of mandamus directing the Government to legislate or make any provision in a statute in the manner as sought for by the petitioner.

On the said aspect, the High Court refereed few of the decisions. 

Mallikarjuna Rao and Ors vs State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors [(1990) 2 SCC 707],   Suresh Seth vs Commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation and Ors [(2005) 13 SCC 287],   Municipal Committee, Patiala vs Model Town Residents Asson and Ors [(2007) 8 SCC 669],  Mangalam Organics Ltd vs Union of India (UOI) [(2017) 7 SCC 221],  Ashwani Kumar vs Union of India (UOI) and Ors [2019 (12) SCALE 125].

In the light of the above, relief No.(i) sought for by the petitioner is declined by the High Court.

However, the second relief sought for by petitioner is to direct the Secretary to Government, Local Self Government Department, Thiruvananthapuram, to pass orders on representation 7/11/2022, for which, the  Senior Government Pleader has no objection.

Placing on record the above submission, the Secretary to Government, Local Self Government Department, Thiruvananthapuram is directed by the High Court to consider and pass orders on the representation within two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment.

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