Legal Analysis of Environmental Clearance Issue

Delve into the legal intricacies of an environmental clearance issue as the NGT meticulously analyzes zoning regulations and buffer zone violations in a recent case. The court’s thorough legal examination highlights the importance of upholding environmental protection laws and regulations. Follow along to understand the significance of these legal considerations in environmental clearance matters.


  • The appellants sought Environmental Clearance (EC) from SEIAA, Karnataka for their high rise residential building project in Bengaluru.
  • The project is in Survey Nos. 61/2, 62, and 63/2 of Kasavanahalli Village, with a plot area of 50,382.91 sq. m. and a total built-up area of 1,28,193.9 sq. m.
  • NGT set aside the EC issued by SEIAA in favor of the appellants due to objections raised by BBMP and other parties regarding the project’s location in an eco-fragile area near Kaikondarahalli Lake.
  • Appellants denied the allegations and defended their project during the proceedings before NGT.
  • SEIAA had granted the EC after considering the project report of the appellants on 10.01.2018.

Also Read: Legal Analysis on Arbitration Petition Limitation Period


  • The learned Senior Counsel for the appellants contended that the manner in which NGT proceeded to decide the appeal is not justified.
  • Despite the appointment of a Joint Committee and the request for a report, the appeal was considered and disposed of without the report relating to the construction in question being available to NGT.
  • The consideration made based on the report dated 23.09.2019 was deemed unjustified as the Committee had indicated that a separate report would be submitted for the instant project.
  • The respective learned counsel for the respondents sought to justify NGT’s order on the grounds of zoning regulation violations and unauthorized construction in the buffer zone.
  • The merits of the project details and permissibility were argued by both sides, but the focus at this juncture should be on the availability of all relevant material, including the Joint Committee report, before NGT.
  • The order dated 03.02.2020 extensively extracted the reply filed by BBMP, highlighting their contention that the project was not permissible.
  • Given the need for a factual finding, the spot inspection report by the Joint Committee was crucial for assisting NGT in arriving at a conclusion.

Also Read: Analysis of High Courts’ Jurisdiction and Court Orders Under Article 142


  • NGT could not have granted Environmental Clearance for construction in the buffer zone of the lake and drain.
  • Joint Committee submitted reports indicating details of properties and any violations in the buffer zone.
  • NGT considered the decision in the case of Mantri Techzone Pvt. Ltd. vs. Forward Foundation & Ors. and the need to restore buffer zones as per zonal plan.
  • Original buffer zones as per zonal plan are specified for different types of Rajkaluves.
  • NGT ordered a ‘stop work’ notice due to violations of Zoning Regulation of the Revised Master Plan.
  • NGT constituted a Joint Committee for spot inspection and report submission involving various environmental authorities.
  • Final inspection by the Joint Committee was pending at the time of the impugned order.
  • NGT considered reports submitted by the Joint Committee dated 23.09.2019 but final report was pending.
  • The report of the Joint Committee related to the project of the appellants was not available on record before the NGT.
  • Parties were permitted to file reports in O.A. No.602/2019 in the Registry of the Court.
  • NGT recorded that multiple appeals on the same issue are being disposed of simultaneously.
  • BBMP, jurisdiction where the project is undertaken, was also a respondent in the appeal.
  • Reports by the Joint Committee indicated existing properties in the buffer area with details of activities and violations noted.
  • Separate O.A.602/2019 specifically addressed the project and would be inspected by the Committee.
  • The report of the Joint Committee regarding the project is available in O.A. No.602/2019.
  • The report needs to be considered as part of the appeal No. 54/2018 disposed of by the NGT.
  • Factual determination in accordance with the law is needed.
  • Since the first appellate authority has not made a factual determination, it is not appropriate for this Court to delve into the details of the report or consider the rival contentions on merits in the appeal.

Also Read: Electoral Malpractices in Mayor Election


  • The appeal is allowed in part.
  • The impugned order dated 03.02.2020 is set aside and Appeal No.54/2018 is restored to the file of the NGT for reconsideration.
  • The NGT is directed to consider the report of the Joint Committee prepared in O.A. No.602/2019.
  • All parties are to be given an opportunity to provide additional documents or objections to the report before the NGT makes a decision.
  • No costs are ordered in this matter.
  • The validity of the EC will be determined by the fresh decision of the NGT and is not reinstated at the moment.
  • The Court has not expressed any opinion on the merits, leaving all contentions open.
  • NGT is requested to expedite the disposal of the appeal within six weeks of the first appearance of the parties before them.
  • No construction is to proceed in the meantime.
  • NGT is instructed to schedule a voluntary appearance date for the parties without requiring a fresh notice from the NGT.


Case Number: C.A. No.-001713 / 2020

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *