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"Course Of River Should Not Be Changed By Anyone": Supreme Court Asks Calcutta HC To Take Up Plea Concerning River

Padmakshi Sharma
1 Oct 2022 3:30 AM GMT
Course Of River Should Not Be Changed By Anyone: Supreme Court  Asks Calcutta HC To Take Up Plea Concerning River
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The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice J.B. Pardiwala transferred a petition concerning diversion of the flow of a river in West Bengal to the Calcutta High Court and directed the Calcutta High court registry to list the matter before an appropriate bench.The petitioner in the case was a public spirited citizen who stated that the respondent, by cutting...

The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice J.B. Pardiwala transferred a petition concerning diversion of the flow of a river in West Bengal to the Calcutta High Court and directed the Calcutta High court registry to list the matter before an appropriate bench.

The petitioner in the case was a public spirited citizen who stated that the respondent, by cutting the embankment of a river was trying to divert the flow of the river for private gain and in the process, putting the entirety of the population from the surrounding villages to prejudice. At the outset, the CJI enquired–

"You come from West Bengal. The local site where the river has been affected is also in West Bengal. The river flows in West Bengal too. Every thing is in West Bengal. Why are you coming under 32?"

To this, the petitioner responded that while the landowner had approached the High Court of Calcutta, and the High Court had disposed of the matter, nothing had been done to protect the rights of those involved.

CJI Lalit remarked that the petitioner was right in stating that the course of the river should not be changed by anyone and that a reportable judgement in the M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath had held the same, however, the same issues could be raised before the Calcutta High Court through a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Accordingly, he stated–

"Considering the facts and circumstances present in the petition, the controversy which has been projected is one which is prevalent and is related to certain areas falling in West Bengal. The petitioner submits that the respondent, by cutting the embankment of the river is trying to divert the flow of the river for private gain putting the entirety of the population from the surrounding villages to prejudice. In our view since the matter concerns the area in West Bengal, rather than entertaining the petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, the better course will be to agitate the same issues through the petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution. We therefore transfer the petition to the Calcutta High Court and direct the registry to register the same as a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution and place it before the appropriate court for disposal."

Case Title: Golam Gazi v. State of WB And Ors. WP(C) No. 801/2022

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