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Kerala High Court asks senior govt pleader to get instructions on MoEFCC draft on Neyyar-Peppara wildlife sanctuary

The Kerala High Court directed the Senior Government Pleader to get instructions on the draft notification issued on 25.03.2022 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change with regard to the Neyyar-Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary.

As per the draft notification, any person interested in making objection or suggestion on proposals contained in the draft notification may forward the same in writing for consideration of the Central Government, within the period specified, to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, New Delhi, or send it to the e-mail address of the Ministry.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Murali Purushothaman heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kerala Independent Farmers Association seeking direction to the Union of India to cause publication of notification in Malayalam and Tamil languages with local circulation of the contents thereof by appropriate means either by way of publication in local vernacular dailies and also by granting further time therefrom and also from other means of publication for filing objections and suggestions to the notification.

The petitioner is an association of farmers. If the interest of the farmers or persons likely to be affected by the proposal for which draft notification is issued, seeking objections, certainly, they have to be provided with proper form of notification in the language known to them. Notification is in English and Hindi, the Court observed.

On 13.05.2022, the Court directed the Central government to publish the Malayalam version of the notification.

So far, there is no response to the prayers sought for. However, Jayasankar V Nair, counsel appearing for the Union of India, submitted that the State Government has constituted a Committee for translation of Central Government Legislation.

Submission is placed on record by the High Court. However, no material is placed on record in support of the above submission. However, going through the draft notification, prima facie, the Court opined that notification issued cannot be treated as legislation under Article 13 of the Constitution of India. The next date of hearing will be on February 16.

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