Millennium Post

Forest issues: SC directs Centre to appoint national regulator

The Supreme Court Monday on directed the Centre to appoint a national regulator to oversee the implementation of forest policy, rejecting its contention that there was no need for such a body.

A three-judge forest bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik also ordered the Centre to file an affidavit on compliance of its order by 31 March, 2014.

‘We direct the Union of India to appoint Regulator with its offices in as many states as possible,’ the bench, also comprising justices SS Nijjar and FMI Kalifulla, said while rejecting the plea of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that there was no need to appoint a regulator to oversee the implementation of forest policy.

The bench made it clear that the clearances under the Forest Act would be granted by the MoEF but the regulator will see the implementation of the Forest Policy of 1998.

Further, it said that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006 would now be dealt directly by the National Regulator for every project.

While directing the appointment of the national regulator, the bench said it has become necessary as the present system for EIA under the central government was deficient.
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