SC asks Union Govt. to file documents in writ petition by saw mills challenging J&K SRO
5 Dariya News (Anubhav Suri)
Jammu , 12 Nov 2013
pision Bench of the Supreme Court comprising JJ Mr. A.K Patanaik, Mr. S.S. Nijjar & Mr. F.M.I. Kalifullah after hearing Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate appearing on behalf of 14 saw mills owners of Kathua District directed the counsel for the Union Govt. to produce the documents/ materials in justification of SRO-103 dated 26.03.2012 which has been challenged by the petitioners.The petitioners have challenged Section 3 of the SRO-103/2012 as discriminatory and violative of Article 14, 21 among other provisions. The Supreme Court had directed J&K Govt. in its judgment that, “No saw mill, veneer or plywood mill would be permitted to operate in this State at a distance of less than 8 kms. from the boundary of any demarcated forest areas. Any existing mill falling in this belt should be relocated forthwith”. The petitioners have taken the plea that the direction of the Supreme Court has been grossly violated by allowing the saw mills to operate in violation of the judgment of the Supreme Court if such saw mills are run by the government or within the municipal limits anywhere in the State. In Section 3(i)(a), “No primary wood-based industry shall be installed or operated within 8 kms. aerial distance from the boundary of nearby demarcated forests, unless located within the boundaries of ‘Municipal Area’ and/or ‘Industrial Estate’ notified by the Government irrespective of distance from the nearby demarcated forests;Exception:- Nothing contained in aforesaid proviso (i) shall apply to the existing saw mills installed and operated by Forest Department or by Jammu and Kashmir State Forest Corporation as may be specified by the Government.” Prof. Bhim Singh was assisted by Mr. S.K. Bandopadhyay, Mr. B.S. Billowria & Mr. Satish Vig, Advocates.