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Karnataka HC Directs State Wildlife Board To Reconsider Proposal To Declare Hesaraghatta Grassland As "Reserve"

Mustafa Plumber
8 Aug 2022 7:45 AM GMT
Karnataka HC Directs State Wildlife Board To Reconsider Proposal To Declare Hesaraghatta Grassland As Reserve
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The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Board for Wildlife to reconsider the proposal submitted by Chief Conservator of Forests for declaring Hesaraghatta Grassland as Conservation Reserve. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty allowed the petitions filed by Vijay Nishant and others and quashed the order dated 19.01.2021...

The Karnataka High Court has directed the State Board for Wildlife to reconsider the proposal submitted by Chief Conservator of Forests for declaring Hesaraghatta Grassland as Conservation Reserve.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty allowed the petitions filed by Vijay Nishant and others and quashed the order dated 19.01.2021 of the Board rejecting the proposal.

The bench said,

"The impugned order reflects non-application of mind. Therefore, since it being cryptic and since it suffers from the vice of non- application of mind, the same cannot be sustained in the eye of law. It is accordingly quashed."

The petitioners said Hesaraghatta region situated in Bangalore is of ecological significance and requires protection. The region forms a unique ecosystem and supports numerous species of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered.

Further, the Chief Conservator of Forests, Bangalore Region filed a detailed report with the Board to consider and conserve the Grasslands, as provided under Section 36A of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

The petitioners claimed that the proposal has been rejected by the Board in an arbitrary manner, without assigning any reasons or even considering the reports of several government and non-governmental organizations.

The bench noted that Section 36A of the Act deals with power of the State Government for declaration and management of conservation reserve. It then said,

"The power under Section 36A(1) for declaration and management of a conservation reserve has to be exercised for protecting landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna and their habitat."

Following which it held that from perusal of the aforesaid relevant extract of the order, it is clear that the Board has passed the order in a cryptic and cavalier manner without adverting to the relevant criteria as prescribed in Section 36A of the Act.

Accordingly it allowed the petition.

Case Title: Vijay Nishant & others And State of Karnataka & others

Case No: W.P No 6374 of 2021 C/W W.P No. 11738 of 2021.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 305

Date of Order: July 29, 2022

Appearance: Senior Advocate C K Nanda Kumar for Advocate Gowri M S, Advocate Nikhil K for petitioners; AAG Dhyan Chinnappa a/w AGA Vijay Kumar Patil for respondents

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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