When petition has been filed before NGT, where is question of forum shopping, asks High Court

Telangana High Court
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Telangana High Court 

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The Telangana High Court Chief Justice Bench on Tuesday heard two public interest litigations filed by Govinolla Srinivas and four others and Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy hailing from Narayanpet and Vikarabad Districts, challenging the Andhra Pradesh government’s action in going ahead with the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme without obtaining prior permission from the Central Government Authorities and Krishna River Management Board.

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court Chief Justice Bench on Tuesday heard two public interest litigations filed by Govinolla Srinivas and four others and Challa Vamshi Chand Reddy hailing from Narayanpet and Vikarabad Districts, challenging the Andhra Pradesh government's action in going ahead with the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme without obtaining prior permission from the Central Government Authorities and Krishna River Management Board.

Subrahmanyam Sriram, Advocate General for the State of Andhra Pradesh, informed the Court that the matter is subjudice, pending before the National Green Tribunal and the apex court. The State of Telangana has filed an IA in SC. The Telangana State has filed an Interlocutory application contending that this is a new project, which has not been apprised by the machinery provided for in the Reorganisation Act.

Furthermore, the Advocate General of AP submitted that since the entire petition eventually would have to be decided by the Supreme Court, it will be in the interest of justice to adjourn the present issue to sine die.

Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan pointed out that once the petitioner has already filed a petition before the NGT, and the NGT has granted a stay in favour of the petitioner against the State of Andhra Pradesh, where is the question of forum shopping.

National Green Tribunal is monitoring all the matter, where is the question of the High Court of Telangana to totally interrupt the proceeding and try to scuttle. You are asking us to scuttle the judicial proceeding pending before the NGT, how can it be, CJ added.

If there is any action by the AP Government, please go back to the NGT and ask to take strong action against the erring Government of Andhra Pradesh, CJ Chauhan suggested.

Concerning the fact that the apex court is already seized of the matter, the identical issues which have been raised in the present Writ Petition are already subjudice in the NGT, the bench opined.

The High Court adjourned sine die the hearing of the present writ petition, and the counsel for the petitioner would be at liberty to request the High Court to bring this case back once the decision has been announced by the NGT.

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