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Former advocate general Raman appointed amicus curiae to monitor wetland preservation
The Madras High Court has appointed former advocate general and senior counsel P S Raman as amicus curiae to assist it in the suo motu petition initiated by it to take specific steps to preserve the wetlands in Tamil Nadu covered by Ramsar convention 1971.
A division being comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Parasad, said “Having regard to the content of the order passed by the Supreme Court, we are of the view that the process of preservation, conservation, maintenance and improvisation of wetlands, the State authorities have to discharge the duties continuously and that the same requires periodical monitoring. Court is of the view that adequate assistance is required and be provided by an Amicus Curiae, with sufficient experience.”
The bench on allowing senior counsel Raman the liberty to take the assistance of an Advocate on Record and an expert of his choice, directed the State Government to provide all assistance and furnish the entire cause papers with reports to him.
It may be noted that the State government had earlier filed a report that a ‘Wetland Authority’ under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary has been created and that the Authority is in the process of preparing a document on 37 prioritised wet lands in the State.
However, on noting that Point Calimere Wildlife and Birds Sanctuary was the only water body covered under the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, the court was also told that steps were under way to bring Panchanadikulam Wet land measuring 8,097 hectares and the unsurveyed Salt Swamp measuring 15.120 hectares located between Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Muthupet Mangroves within the ambit of the Ramsar Convention of 1971.