Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding the Notification issued under Sec 21 of the Uttar Pradesh Trees Protection Act 1976, 11/09/2018
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Kshitij Agnihotri Vs. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change & dated 11/09/2018. Challenge in this application is to the Notification dated 31.10.2017, issued by the State of Uttar Pradesh under Section 21 of the Uttar Pradesh Trees Protection Act, 1976. The Notification purports to grant exemption to all categories of trees other than those specified in the Notification from the operation of the regulatory provisions of the Act.
According to the applicant, the impugned Notification has been issued to encourage the saw mills. Reply has been filed on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh, defending the impugned Notification. According to the State of Uttar Pradesh, the impugned Notification will result in plantation of more and more trees and increase of green cover in the State. The exemption will encourage planting of trees which can be cut without any regulatory regime.
National Green Tribunal directs the quashing of the Notification and said that the plea that the "Notification will result in increasing the forest cover is without any basis and is an argument only in air." The Court also clearly stated that unregulated cutting of trees without limitation of specific species of agro forestry is in violation of Forest Conservation Act and the Tribunal has jurisdiction to consider challenge to un-regulated cutting of trees.