Thirumulkpad Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 240 (4 March 1997)
VERMA, B.N. KIRPAL
4TH DAY OF MARCH, 1997 Present:
Mr. Justice J.S. Verma Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.N.Kirpal Ashok Desai, Attoney
General, Altaf Ahmed, V.R. Reddy, Additional Solicitor Generals, N.N. Goswami,
H.N. Salve, Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave, Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, P.S. Poti, T.L.V. Iyer,
Dr. Shankar Ghose, Jayant Das Tapas Roy, M.S. Nargolkar, Anil B. Divan, Arun Jaitley,
A. K. Ganguli, N.S. Hegde, P.K. Goswami, B. Zaiwalla, K.K. Venogopal, G.L. Sanghi,
C.S. Vaidyanathan, Shankar Ghose, Dushyant A. Dave, D.D. Thakur, M.L. Jain.
O.P. Sharma, D.P. Gupta, Raju Ramachandran, Sr. Advs., S. Wasim A. Qadri,
A.D.N. Rao, Ms. Anil Katiyar, A.K. Sharma, A. Mariarputham, U. Hazarika, R.P Sarmah,
Shakil Ahmad, Kailash Vasdev, Gopal Singh, J.S. Attri, L.R. Rath, Ms. H. Wahi,
Ms. S. Hazarika, K.J. John, Shanta Vasudevan, P.K. Manohar, S. Arvindh, V. Balachandran,
Ms, B. Sunita Rao, T.V.S.N. Chari, Nikhil Nayyar, J.P. Verghese, S.R. Setia,
A.T.M. Sampath, V.G. Pragasam, S.K. Agnihotri, B.P. Agarwal, Aruneshwar Gupta,
G. Prakash, Ms. Benna Prakash, Ranjan Mukherjee, R.K. Mehta, B.S. Chahar, Ashok
Mat, K.R. Nagaraja, K.K. Tyagi, M. Mishra, A. Subhashini, A. Ranganadhan, Rakesh
(Dwivedi, Addi adv. General) R.B. Mishra, Adv. for State of U.P., H.K. Puri,
Rajesh Srivastava. Ujjawal Banerjee, K.B. Rohatagi, Ms Aparna Rohtagi Jiain,
S.M. Jadhav, H.S. Munjral, R.S. Suri Ms. S. Janani, Prem Malhotra, D.S. Mehra,
B.B. Singh, T. Anil kumar, D.P Gupta, J.S. Manhas P.H. Parekh, Sameer Parekh,
Ms. Indo Verma, Amit Dhingra, M.L. Lahoty, Pawan Sharma, Himanshu Shekhar, Rana
Mukherjee, M.S. Sunita Mukherjee, Goodwill Indeevar, P.P. Thipathy, Anil Agrawala,
Raj Kumar Gupta, H.V.P. Sharma, Rajesh, Vijay Hansaria, Sunil K. Jain J.K.
Bhatia, C.K. Sasi D.L.N. Rao, Sunil Dogra U.K. Sagar, .P.P. Singh, A.K. Panda,
N.C. Phukhar, Dayan Krishnan, Nikil Nayar, K.J. John, Joy Joseph, Ms. Malini Poduval,
K.M.K. Nair E.M.C. Anam, Janes Koshy, S. Ravindra Bhat, D.K. Mishra Naveen R. Nath
Ms. Hetu Arora, Ajit Pudussery, Roy Abraham, Ms. Banby Krishnnan, Gopal Prasad,
Ejaz Maqbool, V. Chidambaresh B.V. Deepak, Ramesh Babu MR. M.K.D Namboodri, Ms.
C.K. Sucharita, Sushil Kumar Jain, R.K. Pareek Gopal Modi, A.P. Dhamija, Pradeep
Aggarwal, Ms. Pinky Anand Ms. Geeta Luthra, D.N. Goburdhan, R.K. Gupta, K.K. Gupta,
Bijan Ghosh, A.S.N. Dawn, A.C. Majmumdar, B.K. Satita, Ms Dipti Choudhary,
Sanjay Bhowmick, R.C. Gubrele, K.R. Gupta, Vivek Sharma, Ms. Nanita Sharma, Ashok
Sudan, Uday Kumar Sagar, E.C. Vidyasagar, R.C. Verma Ms. Manik Karangawala, Rajiv
Mehta, P.P. Singh, Ms. Rekha Pandey, L.R. Singh, K.L. Janjani, D.M. Nargolkar, Bharat
Sangal, U.U. Lalit (A.C) Ms. Purnima Bhat, Ms. Meenakshi Sakhardande, Mahender Vyas,
J.S. Manhas, A.K. Sharma, Ms. Anil Katiyar, R.Sasiprabhu A.V. Palli, Zafar
Shah, (Atul Sharma,), ADV for Ms. Rekha palli, Ms. Kavita Wadia, S.K.
Bhattacharya. S.K. Dingra, S.K. Agnihotri, B.P. Agarwal, G. Prakash, Ms. Beena Prakash,
Ranjan Mukherjee, Raj kumar Mehta, M.A. Krisha Moorthy, J.B. Ravi, S. Balakrishnan,
R.N. Keshwani, Chandrakanta Nayak, Joseph Pookkatt, Advs. with them for the
O R D
E R S The following Order of the court was delivered T.N. Godavarman Thirumulkpad
v Union of India & Ors.
W.P. (C) No. 171 of 1996 and W.P. (C) No. 897 of 1996]
After hearing Mr. Harish N., Salve, the learned Amicus Curiae, learned attorney
General and learned counsel appearing for the States and other parties in these
matters, it is clear that no substantial variation in the earlier order dated
12.12.1996 is required to be made as an interim measure; and that some minor
variation to the extent indicated hereinafter is all that is required to be
done at present.
satisfied that there is need to constitute a High power Committee to oversee
the strict and faithful in the North eastern Region implementation of the
orders of this court and for certain ancillary purposes. Accordingly we direct
as under:- (1) There shall be a committee as under:-
T.V. Rajeshwar, chairman;
R.N. Kaul, Retd. I.G of Forests Member; and
representative nominated by the ministry of Environment and forests (MOEF)
T.V. Rajeshwar and Shri R.N. Kaul have given their consent for the purpose.
This committee shall oversee preparation of inventory of all timber in all
forms (including timber products
in the forest or in transit depots, and
in mill premises).
inventory should , wherever possible, indicate the origin and source of the
Committee may for this purpose select suitable persons who would be made
available by the concerned state Government at its request.
as possible, such inventory should be prepared within eight weeks from today.
The Committee may, if it considers appropriate, permit the use or sale of any
part of the timber or timber or timber products. Any sale shall be effected
through the forest corporation of the State under overall supervision of the
The net sale proceeds after deduction of the transaction related costs and
payment of wages to the labour and staff shall be deposited by the Forest
Corporation in a designated account.
modalities will be worked out by the committee.
The committee may, through the Amicus Curiae, apply for such directions from
time to time as it considers appropriate.
The MOEF will make available as far as possible within a week suitable office
space and provide secretarial and all other related facilities in Delhi
(including local transport and telecommunication) befitting the stature of the
MOEF will make arrangements for and meet expenses of travel of the committee. All
arrangements for stay etc.
Committee(outside Delhi) as may be necessary, would be the
responsibility of the state Govt. concerned.
Assam Government will make similar office and other facilities available in Gauhati.
for the sake of convenience at this stage that the central Government and the
State Governments are being directed to make certain payments and meet all the
the question of liability for payment of these amounts would be considered at
the final hearing and suitable directions for the purpose given at that stage
indication the principle for determining the liability for making the payment.
is clarified that the directions contained in the order dated 12.12.1996 and
this order would not apply to minor forest produce, including bamboos, etc.
State of Meghalaya has asserted in its affidavit that a significant quantity of
timber is required for use in the state itself by the rural tribal population.
It has also asserted that there is a loss of revenue to the state government on
account of restrictions placed by the order of 12.12.1996 and a large number of
people of the state have been deprived of the employment. The state is directed
to file an affidavit with full and complete particulars of:
quantity of timber which comes from its forest for use by the rural tribal
population, the extent to which it is made available to the rural tribal
population including the terms on which it is so made available;
the revenue derived by the State by way of royalty from the minerals, mines and
forest areas, purchase tax on export of timber, sale value of timber drawn from
the Govt. forests and the extent and quantity of such sale and the manner of
The number of wood based industries within the state and the number of persons
employed in such industry.
unlicensed saw mills, veneer and plywood industries in the state of Maharashtra
and the state of Uttar Pradesh are to be closed forthwith and the State
Government would not remove or relax the condition for grant of permission/licence
for the opening of any such saw mill, veneer and plywood industry and it shall
also not grant any fresh permission/licence for this purpose. The chief
Secretary of the State will ensure strict compliance of this direction and file
a compliance report within two weeks.
total of 5322.97 cubic meters of timber presently held by the private parties
in their stock purchased from the J & K state forest corporation as per
Annexure D to the affidavit dated 18th February, 1997 filed on behalf of the
Government of J & K is permitted to be moved; and any such movement be
effected after due certification, consignment wise made by the Managing
director of the state corporation which will include certification that the
timber has come from state forest corporation sources(as per para 6(a) at page
11 of the earlier order dated 12.12.1996). The stocks of kail, chir and fir in
the depots of the Forest corporation are permitted to be disposed of by the
Forest corporation in any manner which would include movement and disposal of
the same even outside the state as per the requirements as indicated in above
said para 6(a) . All this would be done by the forest corporation itself.
above directions are to be read a long with those contained in the order dated
the lessee has not forwarded the particulars for seeking permission under the
FCA, he may do so immediately;
State Government shall forward all complete pending applications within a
period of 2 weeks from today to the Central Government for requisite decisions;
received (or completed) hereafter would be forwarded within two weeks of their
being so made.
Central Government shall dispose of all such applications within six weeks of
their being received. Where the grant of final clearance is delayed, the
central Government may consider the grant of working permissions as per
directions It is made clear that the order passed by this court in these
matters, including the order dated 12.12.1996 and the present order shall be
obeyed and carried out by the union Government as well as the State
Governments, notwithstanding any order or direction passed by a court,
including a High court or Tribunal, to the contrary.
further direct the Registrar General to communicate the order dated 12.12.1996
as well as the present order to the Registrars of all the High courts to ensure
strict compliance. It is also clarified that the orders passed by this court
including the order dated 12.12.1996 as well as the present order to the
Registrars of all the High courts to ensure strict compliance. It is also
clarified that the orders passed by this court including the order dated
12.112.1996 and this order will apply to all autonomous Hill councils in the North Eastern States as well as the Union Territories.
made clear that all the concerned authorities would, in the meantime, continue
to examine the various aspects of the problems requiring solution and try to
solve these problems in collaboration with the central government and the state
Governments an efficacious exercise of this kind would enable reduction of the
area which may require judicial scrutiny and adjudication in these matters.
plantations ltd. & Ors. Etc. V. The State of Tamil Nadu & ors. etc. with M/s Malapuram Timbers V. District
forest officer & Ors. I.R. Goelho (DEAD) By L.Rs. The State of Tamil Nadu & Ors.
O R D
E R In modification of the earlier orders in the civil Appeal Nos. 367-75 of
1977, 2457 of 1977 and 1344-45 of 1976 and Writ petition No. 202 of 1995 it is
directed as under :
far as shade trees in the Janmam areas are concerned, they would be governed by
para 4[a] of our order dated 12.12.1996 insofar as it applies to the State of Tamil Nadu. However, all trees so felled in
the janmam areas shall be delivered by the Plantation to the State Govt. which will be free to deal with and dispose of the
same. The State Govt. Shall , however, keep a record of all such trees received
by it . This will apply also to trees felled prior to the interim orders which
are still in the possession of the plantations.
Insofar as fuel trees are concerned, we direct that felling of fuel trees be
carried on strictly in accordance with the Report of TANTEA. After felling of
fuel trees, the Plantations shall submit the account of such trees, the
plantations shall submit the account of such trees to the State Govt. They may
consume for their own use such number of fuel trees as are necessary and give
an account of the same to the State Govt. Any fuel trees not required by them
would be surrendered by them to the State Govt. And the State Govt. would be
free to deal with such trees. The State Govt. would be free to deal with such
trees. The State Govt. shall, however, maintain an account of any fuel trees
received by it.
We further clarify that the direction that there will be no further expansion
of the plantation so as to involve encroachment [by way of clearing or
otherwise of forest will] apply to the Janmam Lands as well.
Nos. 6-14 of 1996 in CA Nos. 367-75 of 1977, I.A. No. 1 of 1996 in Ca No. 1457
of 1977, I.A. Nos. 3-4 of 1996 in CA Nos. 1344-45 of 1976 are allowed in the
golf course at Kodaikannal and Udagamandalam are permitted to function subject
to the condition that the District Collector and the Distt. Forest Officer of
the area concerned are associated with the functioning of the same till the
approval of the Government of India is received.