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SC notice to Centre on plea for constituting national regulator to appraise projects

Several expert bodies have called for reform in environmental governance and have highlighted the fact that the difficulties in ensuring compliance with the environmental laws relate to the process and structure of the institutions involved in the appraisal and approval process.

January 28, 2021 / 08:44 PM IST

The Supreme Court Thursday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking direction for constituting an autonomous and independent national regulator for appraising projects and enforcing environmental conditions, as directed by the apex court in 2011.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notice to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the plea which has claimed that present process of environment clearance (EC) is neither transparent nor objective and several expert bodies have called for reform in environmental governance.

Issue notice, said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The plea, filed by former Indian Forest Services member A N Yellappa Reddy and retired Army officer Lieutenant General S C Sardeshpande, said that the apex court had in July 2011 directed the Centre to appoint a national regulator under section 3 of the Environment Protection Act 1986 but the government has not done it yet.