Published On: Fri, Jun 15th, 2018

SC judge recuses from hearing case on demolition of ponds

New Delhi: Supreme Court judge UU Lalit on Friday recused himself from hearing a case relating to renovation of water bodies in Uttar Pradesh’s Braj area and a subsequent NGT order for their demolition.

The matter now will be listed next week before another bench

Justice Lalit, who was with Justice Deepak Gupta in a vacation bench, recused himself, saying before becoming a judge of the top court he had given some opinion as a lawyer to one of the parties in the case.

The matter now will be listed next week before another bench.

On June 1, the apex court stayed the operation of the May 24 National Green Tribunal (NGT) order directing the demolition of ponds in Braj area renovated by NGO Braj Foundation.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner NGO, told the apex court that an order passed on a public interest plea could not be anti-public.

Mentioning that Braj Foundation was engaged in preserving and conserving the cultural and other heritage of Braj, the place associated with the childhood days of Lord Krishna, Singhvi had said the NGT ordered the demolition as it was done without following due procedure.

The apex court was told that the NGT order came after it came to know that heads of village panchayats allowed the renovation in their individual capacity without taking the matter before the village panchayat and seeking its approval.

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