Google images of Lavasa have shaken MoEF, HC told

Hearing on a petition filed by Lavasa Corporation challenging the show-cause notice issued by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) began afresh on Tuesday before the new Bombay High Court bench of justices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi after two earlier judges, including chief justice Mohit Shah, recused themselves from hearing the plea.

The MoEF has stayed construction work at the site alleging that Lavasa Corporation has violated ministry notifications issued in 2004.

The court had earlier directed Lavasa to approach the ministry by 9 December regarding the stay imposed on the work and directed the ministry to pass an order on it by 16 December.

However, the ministry refused to vacate the stay and reply to the show cause notice.

Additional solicitor general Darius Khambhata appearing for the ministry contended that the ministry was within its rights to ignore such show cause notices without giving an opportunity for hearing to the other side in matters pertaining to public interest.

Earlier the MoEF had told the court that the Google images of the alleged environment damage caused to the area due to the Lavasa hill city project have shaken the ministry.