GUWAHATI, Feb 13 - The New Delhi-based Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held it improper on the part of the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Power Project (LSHEP)-related three-member expert committee to conduct its business in the face of a legal dispute over its constitution. The committee was formed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to look into the LSHEP matters, in the wake of an order issued by the NGT Eastern Zone Bench.
In its February 12, 2018 order, the NGT Principal Bench has stated that since the constitution of the three-member committee (comprising Dr Prabhas Pande, Dr I D Gupta and PM Scott), has been challenged by the petitioner (on January 3, 2018), it would not be proper for the said committee to conduct its business.
The Principal Bench also directed that the second meeting of the expert committee scheduled to be held in Guwahati on February 15, should also be deferred on such grounds.
It further directed the MoEFCC to place on record its contentions on the wisdom in constituting such committee on the next date of hearing. The next date of hearing of the case has been fixed on February 15.
The Principal Bench directive came following the case filed by Abhijeet Sarma of the Assam Public Works (APW) in matters concerning the LSHEP (MA No. 05/2018 in Original Application 346/2013). The case has been shifted to New Delhi Principal Bench of the Tribunal from its Kolkata-based Eastern Zone Bench on February 8, 2018, following a request from Sarma.