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VISL submits an application to NGT demanding cross-examination of a petitioner

Posted on 23 Sep 2014

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday issued notice to respondents in the case challenging the granting of environmental clearance to the Vizhinjam Port after an application was filed by the project proponents.

Vizhinjam International Seaport Ltd. (VISL) submitted an application demanding that one of the petitioners in the case appear in court to be cross-examined, submit bank statements, call records, educational qualifications and source of funds for filing the petition.

The matter will now be heard on November 3 by the NGT which is hearing all the cases related to the port, transferred from the Southern Zone.

Eco clearance

The petitioners had challenged the environmental clearance to the port and recently the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had filed an affidavit contending that the petitions should be dismissed since they were frivolous and due diligence was followed while granting clearance.

The petitioners have contended that the environmental clearance was in violation of the law and they had challenged the amendment to the Coastal Regulation Zone(CRZ).

The MoEF affidavit said this petition challenging both clearances should be dismissed as it was not supported by a valid supporting affidavit of the applicant.

The applicants say they were barely literate in English and ignorant of the internet and cannot read the Environmental Clearance (EC) from the internet. In the original application, the signatures appended on the affidavit are in Malayalam, meaning thereby that the applicants are not literate in English at all.

Despite this, the supporting affidavit nowhere states that the contents of the original application have been read over to them in “Vernacular (Malayalam)”. The MoEF said that in view of this, it was submitted that the original application was not supported by a valid supporting affidavit of the applicants, and this was liable to be dismissed.

Source: The Hindu