PANAJI: Supreme Court of India today refused to grant stay to High Court order on tiger reserve while issuing notices to Goa Foundation, MoEF&CC and NTCA.
The application of Goa govt challenging the high court order directing Goa govt to constitute Tiger Reserve in Goa within three months came for hearing before the apex court.
Appearing for Goa govt, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi argued that there ought to be a proposal from the state government to the NTCA and only after that can the NTCA recommend to the state government to declare the area a tiger reserve.
His request to stay the high court order was not allowed by Supreme Court. Court today issued notices to Goa Foundation, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change. Senior counsel Indira Jaising appeared for Goa Foundation.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra sought responses from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and others on the petition.
Spread over 208 sq km, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the northeastern part of the state adjoining Karnataka.
In its 94-page verdict, a division bench of the high court quoted a Sanskrit verse from Mahabharata, emphasising the importance of tiger conservation.
The high court had directed the state government to set up anti-poaching camps at strategic locations with forest guards, watchers, etc., in the wildlife sanctuary and national parks in the state. This exercise must be completed within six months, it had added.
The high court also asked the state government and the forest department to take steps to ensure there are no encroachments in the protected forest areas such as wildlife sanctuaries and national parks pending notification of the tiger reserve and even after that.