The Supreme Court on November 28, 2018, stayed a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order allowing regularization of unauthorized structures in Kasauli, after paying environmental compensation.
A Bench comprising of Justices M.B. Lokur, S. Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said that the October 5, 2018, direction of the NGT shall be stayed till further orders.
The Bench posting the matter for hearing in the second week of January 2019 said that “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.”
In the order passed on October 5, 2018, the NGT had passed a slew of directions including regularization of unauthorized structures after payment of environmental compensation.
The direction number 5 in the order passed by NGT said “With respect to unauthorized 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 regularize such structures beyond the sanctioned plan... The same shall not be compounded or regularized without payment of environmental compensation at the rate of ₹5,000 per sq. ft. for exclusive self-occupied residential buildings and ₹10,000 per sq. ft. for commercial or residential-cum-commercial buildings.”
At the outset of the proceedings, senior advocate P.S. Patwalia, appointed as amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter, said that the direction of the NGT virtually nullifies the decision of the apex court by regularizing unauthorized construction in Kasauli.