The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Kerala Government in a Special Leave Petition filed by the Wayanad Prakrithi Samrakshama Samiti regarding the forest land which was being used for non-forestry activities like tourism.

The SLP was filed challenging the Judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court of Kerala.

The Bench comprising of Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant issued notice in the case after the petitioner submitted that forest land is not to be used for non-forestry activities.

The Division Bench of the Kerala High Court had earlier heard a PIL by the Appellant and held that the matter be adjudicated by the NGT.

It was prayed by the petitioner before the High Court that the land was a reserve forest and as such any non-forestry activity on that land would require a prior approval under Section 2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which made the activities being carried out on the land by En Oru Society as illegal and liable to be interdicted.

It was submitted by the petitioner before the High Court that the land which was in the possession of the En Oru Society was to be assigned to the landless tribals under the provisions of the Land Reforms Act for agricultural purposes. The petitioner had also submitted before the High Court that the National Green Tribunal is not competent to consider all the reliefs sought for the tribals through the various socio-economic schemes.

The Kerala High Court had held that a conjoint reading of the statement of objects and reasons and the preamble of the National Green Tribunal Act indicate that the Tribunal has powers to grant all the matters relating to the protection and improvement of human environment and so it has the jurisdiction to consider whether the state government have introduced any socio-economic schemes, implemented the schemes in letter and spirit, and in the event of any failure, issue appropriate directions, for implementation of the schemes and thereby, ensure that any right relating to environment is enforced.