SC stays regularisation of illegal structures in Kasauli

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a National Green Tribunal (NGT) direction allowing the regularisation of unauthorised structures in Kasauli, a popular tourist destination in the state, after paying environmental compensation.

SC stays regularisation of illegal structures in Kasauli

New Delhi, November 28

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a National Green Tribunal (NGT) direction allowing the regularisation of unauthorised structures in Kasauli, a popular tourist destination in the state, after paying environmental compensation.

A Bench of Justices MB Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said the October 5 direction of the NGT should be stayed till further orders.

“It appears to us that direction number 5 (of the NGT) is not in consonance with the directions issued by this court from time to time in the matter. In these circumstances, until further orders the direction number 5 is stayed,” the Bench said and posted the matter for hearing in the second week of January next year.

The NGT, while hearing a matter related to unauthorised constructions in Kasauli, had on October 5 passed a slew of directions, including the regularisation of unauthorised structures after the payment of environmental compensation.

The direction number 5 in the order passed by the NGT said, “With respect to unauthorised structures where plans have been submitted and construction work with deviation have been completed prior to this judgment and the authorities consider it appropriate to regularise such structures beyond the sanctioned plan.... The same shall not be compounded or regularised without the payment of environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 5,000 per sq ft for exclusive self-occupied residential buildings and Rs 10,000 per sq ft for commercial or residential-cum-commercial buildings.”

The green panel had said the compensation amount should be utilised for the development of environment of the area and kept in a separate account.

Senior advocate PS Patwalia, appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter, said the direction of the NGT nullified the decision of the apex court by regularising illegal construction.

He said the said direction had wide ramifications as it also nullified the judgment of the High Court. Advocate General Ashok Sharma, appearing for the state government, said they already had a scheme for water supply in and around Kasauli.

The Bench then posted the matter to the second week of January. On October 25, the state government had told the apex court that departmental action had been initiated against erring public servants who were posted in Kasauli when unauthorised constructions happened there. — PTI

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