THE Supreme Court today turned down a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government for an urgent hearing to stay a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order directing the Additional Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh to appear before it on July 31, 2019, in a matter relating to the constitution of a shrine board for three temples in the pilgrimage town of Govardhan in Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh.
“Why are bureaucrats hesitant to come to a court of law? Every time they are called to court, there comes an application to stay the appearance,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi remarked when the Uttar Pradesh government counsel mentioned the matter for urgent listing
The court, however, agreed to hear the matter on August 02, 2019.
NGT summons to Additional Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh
The NGT’s summons to the Additional Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh relates to a four-year-old case involving pollution around the temples of Shri Giriraj Parvat and Parikrama Marg in the town of Govardhan in Mathura district and the failure of the authorities to constitute a shrine board to manage the sanitation around the area.
The NGT had on August 4, 2015, passed an order with a series of recommendations to protect and preserve the environment around the temples, including the constitution of a shrine board to supervise and manage, among other things, the cleaning of the area and the maintenance of its green cover.
Four years later, on July 19, 2019, unconvinced by the affidavit filed by the Additional Chief Secretary providing reasons for the delay in executing the tribunal’s recommendations, the NGT directed the Additional Chief Secretary, A K Awasthy to be present on the next date of hearing and sought an explanation from the Chief Secretary as to why the directions of the tribunal had not been complied with.