Manipur High Court: The Division Bench of MV Muralidaran, A.C.J.* and A. Guneshwar Sharma, J. took suo motu cognizance of a news report which stated that the State of Manipur was facing water shortage because of deforestation in hill areas.
The present Public Interest Litigation (“PIL”) was taken up suo motu based on the newspaper’s report of Imphal Free Press published on 2-4-2023 under the caption “State facing water shortage due to deforestation in hill areas”.
On being informed by Advocate General Lenin Hijam, that there were other necessary parties that needed to be impleaded in the present PIL, the Court therefore, suo motu impleaded Water Resources Department, Manipur; PHED, Government of Manipur; and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, through its Secretary as Respondents in the present PIL. Thus, the Court directed the Registry to make necessary amendment in the petition.
Senior Counsel S. Biswajit was appointed as amicus curiae in the present matter and Counsel I. Denning was to assist him.
Since the matter involved urgency, the Court directed amicus curiae to file a report along with photographs on or before the next date of hearing.
The matter would next be listed on 3-5-2023.
[In re: Water shortage due to deforestation as reported by Imphal Free Press dated 2-4-2023 v. State of Manipur, 2023 SCC OnLine Mani 141, decided on 17-4-2023]
*Judgment authored by: Acting Chief Justice MV Muralidaran