Home > In the Media > HC refuses to grant relief on Jaitapur meet

HC refuses to grant relief on Jaitapur meet

Hetal Vyas in Times of India

March 5, 2011,

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court refused to grant interim relief to the Indian People’s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights, which is to hold a public hearing in Jaitapur on the proposed nuclear power plant on Friday.

A division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi declined to pass a formal order for the tribunal’s un- restricted visit to the village.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the tribunal, which includes retired high court judges, former chief justice of the Delhi high court, Justice A P Shah, and former Supreme Court judge Justice P B Sawant. The tribunal is slated to hold a public hearing.

The petitioner’s advocate, Gayatri Singh, said people who were trying to enter the village were being arrested.

“The police keep checking cars entering and leaving. Just because our views are contrary, we should not be put behind bars,” Singh said.

“If that is so, in such an atmosphere, why do you want to hold a hearing?” the court asked. The judges said that one person was killed recently during protests. “If the state wants to be cautious, we cannot fault it,” the court remarked.

The court also observed: “What is this tribunal going to do? Retired judges are not experts on nuclear matters.”

The judges suggested that the tribunal instead request the government to set up a fact-finding committee comprising scientists who are not on the Maharashtra government’s rolls.

The court also remarked that the tribunal’s visit was a “project-centric exercise” and said it must look into issues such as why Naxalism was growing in the state or even malnutrition.

Adjourning the matter for two weeks, the court observed that a committee of scientists was better to make the people understand the issue.

“While it is a prestigious project for any state, we don’t want to say it has to be hoisted at the cost of human life or marine life and even ecology,” the court observed.

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