4 Feb 2023 3:45 AM GMT
The Supreme Court has removed the restriction imposed on increasing air traffic in the Agra area. In December 2019, while granting permission to the Airport Authority of India to construct an additional terminal at the Agra airport, the Supreme Court had imposed a restriction that the air traffic should not be increased. The restriction was imposed to preserve the Taj Mahal monument. In...
The Supreme Court has removed the restriction imposed on increasing air traffic in the Agra area. In December 2019, while granting permission to the Airport Authority of India to construct an additional terminal at the Agra airport, the Supreme Court had imposed a restriction that the air traffic should not be increased. The restriction was imposed to preserve the Taj Mahal monument.
In the hearing held on January 17, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abhay S. Oka and JB Pardiwala removed the restriction for additional flights, after allowing an application filed by the Airports Authority of India. The order was uploaded recently.
The order was passed in the MC Mehta vs Union of India case, where the Court has been passing several orders on environmental issues across the country.
During the hearing, amicus curiae Senior Advocate ADN Rao informed the Court about the application filed by the AAI seeking a modification of the restriction that AAI would not add any additional flights in Taj Trapezium Zone Airport i.e. the Agra Airport.
Rao submitted, “They seek modification of an earlier order. They had first given an undertaking that they will not add additional flights. Now they want deletion of that from the orders of this court.”
Counsel appearing for AAI submitted, “I have got all permission. This court has also allowed me to build an additional terminal. State has permitted. Environment Clearance has been granted. I have invested so much. It is the need of the hour. We need it. The entire world comes there and they need it. We have to build an additional terminal. It is 10 kms away from the premises.”
Bench was inclined to pass orders stating :
"It is submitted that the requisite studies have been undertaken by the Airport Authority of India as well as the Indian Government and concurrence has been obtained both of the Union of India and the State Government. The Airport Authority of India proposes to invest considerable funds in extension of the airport.
It is thus, submitted that the prerequisites for grant of permission to increase the airport traffic we are satisfied and permission may be granted so that the project takes off.In view of the aforesaid while removing the interdict, it is made clear that all necessary permission including of the CEC shall be obtained for increasing the traffic.
Learned Amicus points out that there is already a bar of aircrafts flying over the Taj monument/other monuments.
The application is allowed accordingly and the order stands modified to that extent".
Orders passed for rehabilitation of shopkeepers
The Supreme Court also ordered the State of UP to consider rehabilitation of the shopkeepers within the Taj Trapezium Zone.
The Court passed the above order while hearing multiple interim applications filed in the Taj Trapezium matter connected with avoiding damage to and relocation of ground near the monument. The IAs were accompanied with applications filed by shopkeepers who had earlier occupied shops within the Taj Trapezium Zone seeking rehabilitation.
ASG Senior Advocate Aishwarya Bhati appearing for the State, opposed the IAs and submitted, “This IA has become infructuous. They were asking benefits for rehabilitation under the scheme and that scheme of the government has lapsed…A new way will have to be...Let them represent before the state. These are shopkeepers. This scheme for their rehabilitation has been lapsed."
The Bench remarked, “This is about rehabilitation. You will have to rehabilitate them. If you aren't rehabilitating them somewhere else, they will continue to be there.”
Bhati replied, “They are still where they were. They are outside 500 metres from the premises. The IA has not survived anymore. These shops were built with some money but they would have either ways had to shell out money to occupy those shops.”
The bench then inquired, “Amicus what needs to be done? She is saying they are outside 500 metres so let them be where they are.” “The idea was to create a right environment around the premises. You cant just say that the scheme is over. The prayers may or may not have become infructuous, but, larger issue of beautification and rehabilitation in the area remains,” the bench added.
Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate ADN Rao submitted, “These shopkeepers could be accommodated in the western gate area with concessional price for occupying shops.”
Bhati replied and said, “State is ready to consider for rehabilitation.”
The Bench then passed orders stating, “…Ld. ASG submits that so far as rehabilitation proposal is concerned, the same doesn't survive after 2016 and IA has become infructuous. It does emerge that while the environment aspect is being looked into, there may be an occasion that people in this portion should be rehabilitated elsewhere. It is for the State government to consider rehabilitation. Merely because the scheme has lapsed does not mean that the state can wash its hands off. It is for the State to consider how the rehabilitation can take place in consultation with the Urban Development Authority. This should be done within 8 weeks. Report to be submitted to this court.”
The Taj Trapezium Zone is a defined area of 10,400 sq km around the Taj Mahal formed to protect the monument from pollution and includes World Heritage Sites like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The Apex Court in December 1996 had banned the use of of coal/ coke in industries located in the TTZ, in response to a PIL filed seeking protection of Taj Mahal from environmental pollution.
However last year, the Supreme Court lifted its earlier complete ban on construction, industrial activities and felling of trees in the Taj Trapezium Zone and permitted the industrial units, which do not spread pollution and are in compliance with the rules, to function, after getting a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Environment.
Case Title: M.C. Mehta v. UoI And Ors. WP(C) No. 13381/1984 PIL
Mr. A.D.N. Rao, Sr. Advocate (A.C.), Counsel for parties:Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, A.S.G. Mr. V. K. Shukla, Sr. Adv. Mr. Rajeev Kumar Dubey, Adv. Mr. Chandrika Prasad Mishra, Adv. Mr. Siddharth Krishna Dwivedi, Adv. Mr. Nitin Pavuluri, Adv. Mr. Ashiwan Mishra, Adv. Mr. Kamlendra Mishra, AOR Mr. ANS Nadkarni, Sr. Adv. Mr. Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, Sr. Adv. Ms. Ruchira Gupta, Adv. Ms. Nancy Shah, Adv. Mr. Apoorv Srivastava, Adv. Mr. Jogy Scaria, AOR Mrs. Rachna Gupta, AOR Mr. Nischal Kumar Neeraj, AOR Mr. ANS Nadkarni, Sr. Adv. Mr. Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, Sr. Adv. Ms. Ruchira Gupta, Adv. Ms. Nancy Shah, Adv. Mr. Apoorv Srivastava, Adv. Mr. Jogy Scaria, AOR Mr. V.K. Singh, Sr. Adv.Mr. Hitesh Kumar Sharma, Adv.Mr. Akhileshwar Jha, Adv.Ms. Yamini Sharma, Adv.Ms. Niharika Dwivedi, Adv.Ms. Shweta Sand, Adv.Mr. Ravish Kumar Goyal, Adv.Mr. Nitin Sharma, Adv.Mr. Narendra Pal Sharma, Adv. Dr. (Mrs. ) Vipin Gupta, AOR Mrs. Rachana Joshi Issar, AOR Mr. Prashant Kumar, AOR Mr. Rajiv Tyagi, AOR Mr. Ajay K. Agrawal, AOR Mr. Shiv Prakash Pandey, AOR Mrs. Suchitra Atul Chitale, AOR Mr. Sudhir Kulshreshtha, AOR Mr. P. K. Manohar, AOR Mr. P. Parmeswaran, AOR Mr. P. Narasimhan, AOR Mr. Pradeep Misra, AOR Mr. Daleep Dhyani, Adv. Mr. Bhuwan Chandra, Adv. Mr. Suraj Singh, Adv. Mr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, Adv. Mr. Amrish Kumar, AOR Mr. R. Bala, Sr. Adv. Mrs. Ruchi Kohli, Adv. Mr. T.S. Sabarish, Adv. Mr. Saurabh Mishra, AOR Mr. Rakesh Chander, Adv. Ms. Priya Kaushik, Adv. Mr. Ankur Prakash, AOR Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, A.S.G. Mr. V. K. Shukla, Sr. Adv. Mr. Rajeev Kumar Dubey, Adv. Mr. Chandrika Prasad Mishra, Adv. Mr. Siddharth Krishna Dwivedi, Adv. Mr. Nitin Pavuluri, Adv. Mr. Ashiwan Mishra, Adv. Mr. Kamlendra Mishra, AOR Mr. Gaurav Goel, AOR M/S. Gsl Chambers, AOR Ms. Aparna Bhat, AOR Mr. Gaurav Agrawal, AOR Mr. Arvind Kumar Sharma, AOR Mr. Shantanu Krishna, AOR Mr. Abhinav Agrawal, AOR Ms. Mayuri Raghuvanshi, AOR Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava, AOR Mr. Anurag Kishore, AOR Mr. Abhishek Chaudhary, AOR Mr. Mukesh Kumar Maroria, AOR Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, A.S.G. Ms. Suhasini Sen, Adv. Mr. Gurmeet Singh Makker, AOR Ms. S.s. Rebello, Adv. Ms. Kannu Agarwal, Adv. Ms. Archana Pathak Dave, Adv.Ms. Aishwarya Bhati, A.S.G. Ms. Suhasini Sen, Adv. Mr. Gurmeet Singh Makker, AOR Ms. S.s. Rebello, Adv. Ms. Kannu Agarwal, Adv. Ms. Archana Pathak Dave, Adv.Mr. A.N.S. Nadkarni, Sr. Adv.Mr. Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, Sr. Adv.Dr. Manish Singhvi, Sr. Adv.Mr. Ashok Basoya, Adv.Mr. Sandeep Kumar Jha, Adv. Mr. Jogy Scaria,Adv.Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava, Adv.Mr. Shivang Rawat, Adv.Mr. R.P. Singh, Adv.Mr. Rahul Gupta, Adv.Ms. Radhika Jalan, Adv.Mr. Siddharth Sarthi, Adv.M/S Gsl Chamber,Adv.Mr. Abhimanyu Mahajan, Adv.Mr. Mayank Joshi, Adv.Mr. Abhinav Shrivastava,Adv.Mr. Vaibhav Agnihotri, Adv.Ms. Niharika Ahluwalia, Adv.Mr. Varun Agarwal, Adv.Mr. Ankit Keira, Adv.Ms. Supriya Juneja, Adv.Petitioner-inperson Applicant-in-person, AOR Mr. Atishi Dipankar, AORMr. Amrish Kumar,Adv.Mr. M.K. Maroria,Adv.Mr. G.S. Makker, Adv.Mr. Vijay Panjwani,Adv.Mr. Kamlendra Mishra,Adv. Mr. M.C. Dhingra, Adv.Mr. Rakesh K. Mudgal, Adv.Mr. Dinesh Mudgal, Adv.Ms. Savita Kaushik, Adv.Dr. Monika Gosain, AORMr. Ajit Kumar Sinha, Sr. Adv.Mr. Ashwarya Sinha, Adv.Mr. Alok Kumar Singh, Adv.Ms. Priyanaka Sinha, Adv.Ms. Shubhi Sharma, Adv.Mr. Aditya Malhotra, Adv. Mr. Ankur Prakash, AORMr. N.L. Ganapathi, AOR Mr. Sidhant Garg, Adv. M/S. Manoj Swarup And Co., AORDr. Sumant Bharadwaj, Adv.Mr. Vedant Bharadwaj, Adv.For Ms. Mridula Ray Bharadwaj, AOR Mrs. Surbhi Sharma, Adv.Mr. Avinash Yadav, Adv. Mrs. Laxmi Arvind, AOR Mr. Anil Gaur, Adv. Ms. Neha Singh, Adv. Mr. Ambrish Kumar Rai, Adv. Dr. Sunil K. Khattri, Adv. Ms. Nalini Singh, Adv. Mr. Badri Prasad Singh, AOR M/S. Lawyer S Knit & Co, AOR Mr. Katubadi Ismail, Adv. Mr. M. R. Shamshad, AOR Mr. Kishan Chand Jain, Adv. Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Adv. Mr. E. C. Agrawala, AOR Mr. Lakshmi Raman Singh, AOR Mr. Nikhil Goel, AOR, Mr. Ajit Sharma, AOR.
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 82
Taj Trapezium matter - Supreme Court permits increase in air traffic in Agra- removes the restriction imposed in 2019 for increasing flights
Click here to read/download the order