Access to Justice, Air pollution, Forests, Land Use, Polluter Pays, Standing, Biodiversity, Taxation, Damages, Permits
The appeal (22/2011 (T) was filed by Jan Chetna challenging the Environmental Clearance granted to M/s Scania Steel and Power Ltd. for expansion of its existing Sponge Iron Plant by adding one more unit and installing an Integrated Steel Plant & Captive Power Plant in Chhattisgarh without conducting public hearing. In this case the Tribunal asked the MoEF to conduct public hearing and suspended the environment clearance till the completion of the same and asked MoEF to develop proper mechanism to check authenticity of environmental data reported in the EIA/EMP report. The Tribunal while dealing with the issue of locus standi observed that the expression “aggrieved persons” cannot be considered in a restricted manner. Since the appellants have been working in the area in question and are concerned with the impact of the project on ecology and environment, they satisfy the definition of person aggrieved and have the locus standi to file the appeal. The Tribunal observed that considering the magnitude of the proposed project, opportunity should have been given to the public to form views with regard to the project. The Tribunal held that since no environmental clearance was granted for the existing Sponge Iron plant under the EIA Notification, 2006, the project does not satisfy the requirements of clause 7 (ii) to the EIA Notification, 2006 where concession not to hold Public Hearing can be granted . Thus, the concession not to hold public consultation cannot be extended to this proposed project.