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Coastal Regulation Zone clearance to oil firm: NGT to review order today

The southern bench of National Green Tribunal has decided to review its judgment regarding the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance granted to an oil firm after accepting the petitioner’s submission that the bench did not look into the precedents on the question of interpretation of statutes on environmental laws.

Coastal Regulation Zone clearance to oil firm: NGT to review order today
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Chennai

The case pertains to grant of CRZ clearance by the Centre to a private company to draw pipeline and establish oil storage facility in CRZ II zone near Ennore.

The petitioner, KR Selvaraj Kumar, cited various orders to contend that tribunal did not consider the real object of the passing of CRZ Notification, 2011, in its right spirit.

“The tribunal did not look into the precedents on the question of interpretation of statutes on environmental laws and also its impact on the environment while making liberal construction and extending the activities outside the notified port area,” the petitioner said in his review application.

Countering this, the private oil firm said even if wrong interpretation was made, it was a matter for appeal and not review.

“There is no prohibition for granting storage facility of edible oil in CRZ II area. Para 3 of CRZ Notification, 2011, deals with prohibited activity with some exception,” it contended.

When the matter was taken up for hearing via video conference, judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta said, “The review applicant has produced additional documents to be considered by this tribunal. The larger aspect of the impact of the decision is not considered while liberally interpreting the provision against the principles of interpretation of statutes in respect of environmental laws, which will amount to an error apparent on the face of the record which is likely to cause a miscarriage of justice on the question of environment.” Setting aside the tribunal’s February 19 order, the bench said the matter has to be reconsidered and posted it for hearing on Wednesday.

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