NGT bins TANGEDCO's review plea in elephant electrocution case

It said that it had given details of steps taken to avoid such incidents in the future in consultation with the forest officials and has also submitted a future action plan to the tribunal.

Published: 28th February 2022 06:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th February 2022 06:41 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

CHENNAI:  The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal has dismissed the review petition filed by TANGEDCO, which was asked to cough up Rs 75 lakh environmental compensation for alleged electrocution of an elephant and other wild animals at Chungam forest division in the Cherambadi forest area in Nilgiris' Pandalur.

TANGEDCO claimed that the tribunal-appointed joint committee, in its report, had said the elephant might have got electrocuted as it pushed the structure, popping the jumper connecting two ends of the phase-out of the pin insulator and that it would have then touched the top channel of the double pole structure. It was also observed that the accident did not occur on account of any human error.

It said that it had given details of steps taken to avoid such incidents in the future in consultation with the forest officials and has also submitted a future action plan to the tribunal. The tribunal, however, imposed the compensation, which according to the electricity board was against the general principles of law.

It said the tribunal had no jurisdiction as the case would not fall under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, and that the same was covered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which is not enumerated in Schedule-I of National Green Tribunal, 2010. "This will create a huge financial burden on the TANGEDCO," the review petition said.

However, NGT judicial member Justice K Ramakrishnan, dismissing the review petition, said it was not a case where the question of imposition of compensation was passed by the tribunal without giving an opportunity to the review applicant. "This tribunal had... explained as to why the TANGEDCO was responsible to pay compensation," he said.

The tribunal said it had relied on a similar decision imposing compensation against the electricity board by the Principal Bench after considering their objections in a similar incident. "There is dispute regarding the fact that the animals died due to electrocution by passing the electricity from a disputed double pole... their remedy is to file an appeal under Section 22 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and not filing a review application as there is no error apparent on the face of the record warranting interference in the findings arrived at by this tribunal," Justice Ramakrishnan said while rejecting the plea.



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