Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding Central Empowered Committee (CEC), 18/08/2023

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of In Re: T N Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs Union of India & Others dated 18/08/2023.

The Supreme Court, May 18, 2023 had suggested that instead of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) being an ad-hoc body, "it would be in the larger interest that the CEC as an institution should be a permanent statutory body".

Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta had accepted the said suggestion. He stated that the Union of India would publish a draft notification under the provisions of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 providing for the constitution of the CEC.

In pursuance of the aforesaid order, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India handed over a draft notification to be issued by the  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) regarding the constitution of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC). The said draft has already been shared with K. Parameshwar, learned Amicus Curiae.  

Amicus Curiae submitted that he has only one suggestion to the draft notification and that is that there should be a provision for periodical audit of the functioning of the CEC by the MoEFCC.

The Solicitor General does not have any objection to the said suggestion. He states that the suggestion given by the Amicus Curiae would be incorporated in the final notification that would be issued by the MoEFCC.

The Supreme Court directed the Union of India to proceed further with the issuance of notification for constitution of the CEC as a permanent body. "Rather than CEC functioning as an ad hoc body, it functioning as a permanent body would be in the interest of all the stake holders," noted the apex court.

The MoEFCC was asked to proceed further with the constitution of the CEC in accordance with the notification that will be issued by the MoEFCC.