The Apex Court has upheld the order of NGT directing demolition of Hotel-cum-Restaurant in the bus stand complex at Mcleod Ganj in H.P.

The Apex Court has upheld the order of NGT directing demolition of Hotel-cum-Restaurant in the bus stand complex at Mcleod Ganj in H.P.

The Supreme Court has upheld the order of National Green Tribunal directing demolition of a Hotel-cum-Restaurant in the Bus Stand Complex at McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh.

The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee dismissed the appeal filed by Himachal Pradesh Bus Stand Management and Development Authority and directed that the process of demolishing the Hotel-cum Restaurant structure shall be commenced within two weeks and shall be demolished within one month thereafter.

In this case, NGT had found that the Bus Stand Complex seriously disturbs the ecology of the area in which it has been constructed and also violates the provisions of the Forest (Conservation) Act. It directed the authority to pay a compensation of Rs. 15 lacs in terms of Sections 15 and 17 of the NGT Act; and a compensation of Rs. 10 lacs. The State of Himachal Pradesh and its Department of Tourism was directed to pay a compensation of Rs. 5 lacs each. The Tribunal had also ordered an enquiry to be conducted against the officers of the Authority.

In its judgment disposing the appeal filed by the Authority, the bench discussed the concept of Environmental rule of law and also the role of courts in ensuring environmental protection. The court said that the environmental rule of law, at a certain level, is a facet of the concept of the rule of law.

 

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