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HC junks PIL against construction of jungle resort in Kodagu, slaps Rs 50K fine on petitioners

The petition was filed by PS Mohan and others from Kodagu district on the ground that permission was not obtained from the central government under the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act

Published: 04th January 2022 08:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2022 08:11 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka High Court (File Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday slapped a cost of Rs 50,000 on a group of petitioners for wasting the precious time of the court by filing a public interest litigation challenging the construction of the Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JL&R) by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) at Dubare forest in Kodagu district.

"We are of the view that the writ petition is filed without any material to support the contention raised in the petition and it appears that it has been filed with ulterior motives in order to pressurise the respondents -- the state authorities. The conduct of the petitioners as such is deprecated for the purpose of wasting the precious time of the court by imposing cost of Rs 50,000 which has to be paid to the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority," said a division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Suraj Govindaraj.

The petition was filed by PS Mohan and others from Kodagu district on the ground that permission was not obtained from the central government under the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act for construction of JL&R.

In counter, the government advocate contended that no permission of the central government is required for construction of the jungle lodge by the KSTDC in the reserve forest area coming under the state government.

The counsel of JL&R raised preliminary objections regarding the maintainability of the petition. It was alleged this petition was filed on some personal interest and that JL&R has installed river rafting activities in Dubare area which adversely affected the petitioners. But no public interest is involved in the petition and it has been filed with ulterior motives, the counsel of JL&R argued.

After hearing the parties, the court noted that the JL&R which was constructed in Dubare is a body created by the KSTDC which itself is totally controlled by the state government and no private interest is involved in the activities of the JL&R.



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