The Bombay high court has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to file a reply to Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society’s petitioners’s application which challenges the demolition notice, stating that it must be transferred to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The court will hear the reply on April 22. A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Mridula Bhatkar added that the MoEF won’t be given an extension in filing a reply. The society’s petitioners relied on the Supreme Court’s order in a case pertaining to the Bhopal gas tragedy. It stated that all cases which question the provisions of environment laws should be heard by the NGT.

The application states that when it had filed the petition in the high court challenging the demolition notice, the NGT was not functional. “Now two benches have been constituted and hence, even this petition should be transferred to the tribunal,” the application states.

The application has been opposed by the additional solicitor general Kevic Setalvad.

The order for demolishing the society located at Colaba was passed in January 2011 for alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and not obtaining permission from the Ministry before construction.

Courtesy: DNA