Telangana High Court grants interim stay on NGT farmhouse order

Deccan Chronicle.  | Vujjini Vamshidhara

Nation, Crime

The application before the NGT is that the construction has been made in violation of GO 111

Congress MP Revanth Reddy addresses media persons at Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad. PTI photo

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Wednesday granted an interim stay on orders issued by the National Green Tribunal, Southern bench, on May 5, ordering a committee of central and state officials be constituted to investigate whether a farmhouse reportedly owned by Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao, at Janwada in Ranga Reddy district, violates Government 0rder 111, a zoning law meant to protect  the  Himayathsagar and Osmansagar lakes.

The Division Bench of Justice A Rajashekar Reddy and Justice P Naveen Rao issued the interim orders in two petitions.

One petition was by Mr Rama Rao, challenging the NGT order that had issued notices directing him to explain the contentions of the petitioner A Revanth Reddy, a Congress MP and petitioner before the NGT, that KTR has constructed a farm house in violation of GO 111.

Another writ petition, filed by Pradeep Reddy Badwel, says  that he (Badwel) was the owner of the property, where the alleged construction has been made in violation of GO 111 and he being the necessary party has not been made a party in the petition submitted by Mr Revanth Reddy to the NGT.

After hearing the contentions of S Niranjan Reddy, senior counsel for the minister, and Sri Raghuram, senior counsel for Mr Badwel, the bench issued the interim stay orders.

In the interim orders the court said: “This court is of the opinion that prima facie, the exercise of NGT Chennai order is erroneous and is in violation of Sec. 14(3) and Sec. 19(1) of the NGT Act, 2010.  There shall be an Interim Stay."

The Bench in its order said: "The application before the NGT is that the construction has been made in violation of GO 111, dated 8-3-1996, which is not issued under statute, which aspect is not considered by the NGT.”

Further, the NGT at the first instance, should have ascertained the cause of action of the dispute, and then determined the date attached to the cause of action, the Bench said.  The construction was done in 2015 whereas the petitioner, Mr Revanth Reddy, approached the NGT on 30-5-2020, which is contrary to Sec. 14(3) of the NGT Act, 2010, which says that the cause of action should be within six months from the cause of action, after which no application shall be entertained.