Friday, August 29, 2008
Supreme Court's double standards on forest matter
My interest in the T.N.Godavarman Thirumulpad vs. Union of India got rekindled after the J&K Government's controversial decision not to seek the Supreme Court's opinion whether it could hand over the forest land to the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board for non-forest purposes. Today's article by Sunita Narain in Business Standard exposes the Supreme Court's double standards in this case - one for the rich and the other for the poor, the former being allowed to get away with the use of forest land for non-forest purposes by paying a pittance, while the poor being denied any right to use the forest land for sustainable use. For those interested in tracking this case on a regular basis (the case comes up for hearing before the Forest Bench once in a week) this site is immensely useful. The credit for maintaining this site up to date must go to this dynamic environmental lawyer and activist, Ritwick Dutta, whose dedication to the cause has been widely recognised. Dutta explains his interest in this interview.