The Supreme Court today set a stiff less than 3-month deadline for the Centre for setting up a National Regulator with “offices in as many states as possible” under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 to clear mining and other projects in forest areas.

A three-member Green Bench of the SC headed by Justice AK Patnaik clarified that it had directed, not advised, the Centre in 2011 to set up the regulator. The Bench, which included Justices SS Nijjar and FMI Kalifulla, passed the order, dispelling Centre’s doubts on this score.