The supreme court allows the development plan of the State of Himachal Pradesh upon consideration of expert analysis

TITLE : The State of Himachal Pradesh Vs Yogendra Mohan Sengupta and Anr

CORAM : Hon’ble Justice Milind N. Jadhav

DATE :  6th January 2024

CITATION : Civil Appeal no 5348-5349 of 2019


The Himachal Pradesh Town & Country Planning Act, 1977 was enacted by the State of Himachal Pradesh in the year 1977. In exercise of powers conferred upon the state by Section 87 of the TCP Act, enacted the Himachal Pradesh Town & Country Planning Rules, 1978. A development Plan was initiated by the state government for the period of 1979-2001. In the process, a survey was done with the green belt. The restricted area of the core land for development was called as the “green belt”. A case challenged the said development as the government was misusing the forest property without any prior permission from the forest. An expert committee was constituted to look into the matter and then the NGT banned all sorts of new construction in the area of green belt. Furthermore, it also gave instructions on how to install a development plan sustainably. The state challenged the banning and argued the legality of such a development plan.


Section 13 of the TCP mentions the planning area. It states that the State government has the power to constitute a planning area via a notification. It also has the power to amalgamate, divide, alter or declare the planning area ceased to be called as such. 


Whether the development plan by the State of Himachal Pradesh was in accordance with the law?


The apex court held that the constitution of India restricts the court from ordering or directing the executive branch of the country in the matters of policy. It held that it’s the legislature’s job to do such act.

The court observed that the state has taken into consideration the suggestions given by the NGT in implementing the draft development plan. The court figured that the development plan would not affect the green belt area as no new construction would take place but rather a reconstruction. Further, construction would only be done in the areas where there is no green trees.

The court held that the development plan has taken due care of the environmental aspects but also stated that it doesn’t fully approve of the plan. If any person is aggrieved by any provision, they are welcome to challenge the same.

The court stated that the development plan has been finalized after taking the recommendation of various expert committees and studies. It states :

“In our view, the development plan, which has been finalized after taking recourse to the statutory provisions and undergoing the rigors thereto, cannot be stalled in entirety thereby putting the entire developmental activities to a standstill.”

For the matter pertaining to compensation for green belt land owners, the court held that the issue needs to be addressed as a specific issue and beyond the scope of the current proceeding.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Written by- Sanjana Ravichandran

click here to view judgement


Drug which is manufactured through heavy processing of trees are not forest produce under the Forest Act, 1927 : Bombay HC

TITLE : Fresenisu Kabi Oncology Ltd. V The State of Maharashtra

CORAM : Hon’ble Justice A.S Gadkari and Hon’ble Justice Shyam C. Chandak

DATE :  22nd   December, 2023

CITATION : CrWP. No 667 of 2010


The petitions are filed under Article 226 of the Constitution along with Section 482 of CrPC to set aside the criminal accusations on the petitioner. The accusations is related to theft of forest produce by the petitioners. The tree involved is Narkya found in the western Ghats and the theft complaint was lodged against 490 offenders for the offences punishable under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, The Indian Forest Act, 1927 and the Bombay Forest Rules, 1942. The main offenders were caught making chips of the tree of 1110 Kgs and Camptothecin which is used in the manufacturing of anti-cancer drugs by the petitioners unit. The seized Camptothecin was worth 44 Lakhs for 22 kgs.

It was argued that Camptothecin being the final product does not come under the ambit of “forest produce” as per the Forest Act. The respondents argued that the Camptothecin in question was made through illegal means and was stolen from the forest areas.


Forest Produce as per the Forest Act, 1927 is defined as :

Section 2(4) “Forest-produce” includes—

(a) the following whether found in, or brought from, a forest or not, that is to say— timber, charcoal, caoutchouc, catechu, wood-oil, resin, natural varnish, bark, lac, mahua flowers, mahua seeds, 3 [kuth] and myrabolams, and

(b) the following when found in, or brought from a forest, that is to say—

(i) trees and leaves, flowers and fruits, and all other parts or produce not hereinbefore mentioned, of trees,

(ii) plants not being trees (including grass, creepers, reeds and moss), and all parts or produce of such plants,

(iii) wild animals and skins, tusks, horns, bones, silk, cocoons, honey and wax, and all other parts or produce of animals, and

 (iv) peat, surface soil, rock and minerals (including lime-stone, laterite, mineral oils, and all products of mines or quarries


  1. Whether Camptothecin manufactured using stolen Narkya trees come under the ambit of forest produce as per the Forest Act, 1927


The court analysed the factual procedure for manufacturing Camptothecin and stated that it is produce through various chemical process and during that process the chemical nature of the tree is permanently changed.

The court held that since the composition of camptothecin is completely changed and is not identifiable by the tree, it is not a forest produce. Further, it was held that There is no material against the Petitioners showing that before purchasing and till receiving said Camptothecin, they knew that it was derived/extracted from the chips of the stolen Narkya trees.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”

Written by- Sanjana Ravichandran

Click here to view judgement




In recent years, the urgency to address climate change has led to a significant transformation in the field of environmental law in India. As the nation faces the escalating impacts of climate change, there is a growing recognition of the need to adapt legal frameworks to meet new realities.

Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions:

India, as one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, has taken substantial steps to mitigate its carbon footprint. Environmental law in India is increasingly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through various measures. These include the development of renewable energy policies, the establishment of emission reduction targets, and the implementation of market-based mechanisms such as carbon pricing. Additionally, laws are being revised to promote energy efficiency, sustainable transportation systems, and the adoption of cleaner technologies across industries.

Protecting Ecosystems and Biodiversity:

India boasts diverse ecosystems and a rich biodiversity, making it imperative to safeguard these natural resources in the face of climate change. Environmental law plays a vital role in protecting ecosystems and biodiversity by regulating land use, conserving forests, safeguarding coastal areas, and preserving wildlife habitats. Legal frameworks are being adapted to strengthen conservation measures, prevent deforestation, mitigate habitat fragmentation, and address the impacts of climate change on vulnerable species. Additionally, laws are being enacted to promote sustainable agriculture and reduce the use of harmful chemicals that can degrade ecosystems.

Climate Adaptation and Resilience:

With climate change impacts becoming more evident, environmental law in India is increasingly focused on climate adaptation and building resilience. Legal frameworks are being developed to integrate climate change considerations into various sectors such as urban planning, infrastructure development, water resource management, and disaster preparedness. These efforts involve assessing climate risks, developing adaptive strategies, enhancing early warning systems, and promoting nature-based solutions. By incorporating climate adaptation into legal frameworks, India aims to minimize vulnerability, protect communities, and ensure the resilience of critical infrastructure in the face of climate-related hazards.

Promoting Corporate Responsibility and Accountability:

Recognizing the significant role played by corporations in contributing to climate change, environmental law in India is placing increased emphasis on corporate responsibility and accountability. Laws and regulations are being enacted to incentivize sustainable practices and encourage businesses to adopt climate-friendly approaches. This includes promoting energy efficiency, waste reduction, and responsible resource management. Furthermore, environmental impact assessment laws are being strengthened to ensure that businesses consider climate change impacts in their operations. Legal mechanisms are also being employed to hold polluters accountable through strict penalties and liability provisions.


The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986: This comprehensive legislation serves as the foundation for environmental protection in India. It empowers the central government to take measures for the conservation and improvement of the environment, including the prevention and control of pollution. The Act provides the legal framework for regulating activities that may have an adverse impact on the environment, such as industrial pollution, waste management, and environmental clearances.

The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established under this Act as a specialized forum for the effective and expeditious disposal of environmental cases. The NGT has jurisdiction over matters related to environmental laws, including issues concerning air and water pollution, biodiversity conservation, climate change, and the enforcement of environmental impact assessments.

The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980: This legislation aims to conserve and protect forests and biodiversity in India. It regulates activities such as diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes, including infrastructure development projects. The Act requires prior approval from the central government for such diversions and mandates compensatory afforestation to mitigate the loss of forest cover.

The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: This law provides for the protection and conservation of wildlife and their habitats in India. It prohibits hunting, poaching, trade in wildlife, and the destruction of habitats. The Act also establishes protected areas, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries to safeguard critical ecosystems and species.

The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981: This legislation aims to prevent, control, and abate air pollution. It provides for the establishment of state and central pollution control boards responsible for monitoring and regulating air pollution sources, including industrial emissions, vehicular pollution, and indoor air quality.

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974: This law addresses issues related to water pollution and the protection of water resources. It establishes pollution control boards at the state and central levels to monitor and regulate water pollution sources, such as industrial effluents, sewage, and agricultural runoff.

The Renewable Energy Act, 2022: This recently enacted legislation focuses on promoting renewable energy sources and facilitating their integration into the grid. It provides for the development of renewable energy projects, feed-in tariffs, power purchase agreements, and other incentives to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in India.


M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 1086:

This landmark case dealt with the issue of air and water pollution in Delhi. The Supreme Court issued several directives to address the problem, including the conversion of public transport vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and the relocation of polluting industries outside the city.

Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 2715:

In this case, the Supreme Court emphasized the importance of the precautionary principle in environmental matters. The court held that industries must take preventive measures to avoid environmental degradation and that the polluter must pay for the costs of pollution and remediation.

Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action v. Union of India, AIR 1996 SC 1446:

This case dealt with the issue of hazardous waste management and the implementation of the Basel Convention in India. The Supreme Court directed the government to take effective measures to regulate the import, handling, and disposal of hazardous wastes, ensuring compliance with international agreements.

Subhash Kumar v. State of Bihar, AIR 1991 SC 420:

In this case, the Supreme Court upheld the fundamental right to a clean environment as part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution. The court held that it is the duty of the state and its agencies to ensure a clean environment for the citizens.

Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh, AIR 1997 SC 3297:

This case focused on the rights of tribal communities over land and natural resources. The Supreme Court ruled that tribal communities have a right to control and manage their resources and that mining activities cannot be undertaken without their consent.

Goa Foundation v. Union of India, (2014) 6 SCC 590:

In this case, the Supreme Court imposed a temporary ban on mining activities in Goa due to violations of environmental laws. The court ordered the establishment of a permanent fund for the restoration of the environment and directed the government to ensure sustainable mining practices.

These case laws have had significant implications for environmental protection and climate change mitigation in India. They have provided important legal precedents and guidelines for environmental management and have played a crucial role in shaping the country’s environmental jurisprudence.


As India confronts the challenges posed by climate change, the evolution of environmental law is crucial to effectively address the new realities. By focusing on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, promoting climate adaptation, and enforcing corporate responsibility, India is taking important strides towards a sustainable future. However, continued efforts are necessary to strengthen and enforce environmental laws effectively. The adaptation of legal frameworks is essential to safeguard the environment, ensure the well-being of current and future generations, and build a resilient nation capable of addressing the impacts of climate change.








“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”