Libertatem Magazine

Obtaining EC Is Mandatory Before Initiating Construction Under Environmental Impact Assessment, 2006: Jharkhand High Court

Contents of this Page

Case Excerpt

The present writ petition is about the constructions done without obtaining Environmental Clearance (EC) which falls under Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2006. Due to these alleged violations, the writ petition asked for the issuance of direction from the said respondents. 

Facts of the Case

The Petitioner,  Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) is at the supreme position of private real estate developers, Jharkhand, and a member of the real estate developers of the State of Jharkhand. Further, Govt. of India issued a notification dated 14-09-2006 that formulated the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), 2006 which states that it is mandatory to obtain the Environment Clearance (EC) before initiating the construction of the projects falling under the said notification. Govt. of India stated that the State can deal with the alleged violation under EIA, 2006 by the immediate arrest and then bringing the enterprise in observance through a notification dated 14-03-2017. For the same, a process was made of cases under EIA, 2006 to ensure adequate environmental safeguards. This would result in the reduction of violation under the EIA Act, 2006. The said notification opened a window for six months for the projects that failed in obtaining EC before construction. A PIL was filed before Madras High Court on 14-03-2017 challenging the notification. Thereafter, through an order dated 13-10-2017, the said notification was canceled. R.K Singh approached and made an application for non-implementation of EIA notification, 2006 in the state of Jharkhand. That application was made as an original one. The Learned court issued several directions to stop the violations. 

Arguments by the Petitioner

Mr. Abhishek Manu Shingvi, the Learned Counsel submitted that neither the petitioner nor its members were a party in the continuing before National Green Tribunal (NGT)  and per se, the action of Respondent no.3 in leading the members of the Petitioner to prevent construction activities with no chance of hearing, violates the principles of natural justice. Also, many applications were already pending of the members of the Petitioner’s said party. Further, pending applications from members of the said party had their documents ready but due to the non-existence of SIEAA in the State of Jharkhand, and so on the violation of law occurred. Counsel further argued that the stopping of construction activities in the Covid-19 pandemic has affected badly for those who lost their employment. As per the record, 3 Lakh construction workers, 15 Lakh dependent members, and 200 industries of the MSME Sector are badly affected. Also, it was submitted that Article 226 can be exercised in this case to find out the injustice that has happened on the decisions taken by the concerned authority. The purpose of Judicial Review is to prevent cases that include misuse of power.

Arguments by Respondents

Learned Counsel submitted that the Petitioner never asked for help or informed the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) that the members were facing problems and started construction without obtaining prior EC. Mr. Sinha, Learned ASGI submitted the Central Government issued EIA Notification, 2006 under the Act, 1986 and as per the said notification, prior environmental clearance is required to be obtained if building and construction project is ≥20000 sq. meters and <1,50,000 sq. meters of built-up area and in the case of – 8 – Township and Area Development project covering an area ≥ 50 hectares and/or built-up area ≥1,50,000/- sq. meters. Further, it was submitted that this type of case comes under the violation category and for the same SEIAA, Jharkhand should take action by opening a fresh window provided by the Government of India. The said party members are trying to cover up their mistakes while the proceedings are going on about work without obtaining mandatory EC by stating that SEIAA, Jharkhand was not in existence.

Court’s Analysis

It was observed that the Government of Jharkhand has only focused on NGT and has stopped the further constructions. As we analyze, the counter affidavit filed on behalf of Respondents no. 2 & 3, no arguments have been made against that to what steps have been taken by them for complying with the other part of the order. The Court is not satisfied with the fact that the Government of Jharkhand before the NGT order dated 09-09-2020, the period of six months has already proceeded. Also, from that order, NGT has not issued any directions to SEIAA, Jharkhand and after that didn’t give any focus on EC applications of the members of the Petitioner.

Court’s Decision

From all the above proceedings, the Learned Court has not granted any relief to the Petitioner as prayed in the present writ petition. Further, for more clarification about the order dated 09-09-2020, the Petitioner should go before the NGT, Delhi. 

Click here to read the full judgment. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the Court. Follow us on Google News, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.


About the Author