Forest and Wildlife Conservation for Judiciary

A two-day orientation programme on ‘Forest and Wildlife Conservation for the Judiciary was inaugurated at the State Judicial Academy on Saturday.

A two-day orientation programme on 'Forest and Wildlife Conservation for the Judiciary was inaugurated at the State Judicial Academy on Saturday.

"The programe is being organized in collaboration with WWF-India and Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE) under the guidance and patronage of Chief Patron of State Judicial Academy, N Paul Vasanthakumar, Chief Justice J&K High Court, Chairman Committee of Judges State Judicial Academy,  Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, Member J&K State Judicial Academy," spokesman of State Judicial Academy in a statement said.   

"The programme was inaugurated by Justice Janak Raj Kotwal and other dignitaries who also graced the inaugural function were Moulika Arabhi, Advisor, Centre for Environmental Law, WWF-India, Suresh Chugh, IFS, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K and Vibodh Gupta, Advocate and Member, J&K Legislative Council," the spokesman said.   

In his inaugural address, the spokesman said, Justice Janak Raj Kotwal emphasized that the District Courts can address environmental issues while enforcing individual rights and duties. 

"The environmental matters are often mixed up in deciding the individual or collective rights. In the suit for injunction, representative suits under Code of Civil Procedure to protect local environment, the trial courts can insist upon maintenance of balance in environmental issues," he said.  

Justice Kotwal also said that the Supreme Court, High Courts and the National Green Tribunal are very proactive on environmental issues and the judiciary in Jammu and Kashmir needs to be enlightened on the aspects of environment. He urged the judicial officers to play a catalytic role in forest and wildlife conservation.

Abdul Rashid Malik, Director, J&K State Judicial Academy in his address while introducing the subject referred to Bhopal Gas Tragedy case as the worst industrial disaster in human history. 

He highlighted the role of then District Judge, Bhopal who while invoking Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure ordered an interim compensation of Rs 3500 million at the time, when the legal frame work relating to environmental issues was at developing stage but the Bhopal Gas tragedy made us aware about the importance of environmental jurisprudence. 

He referred the Public Interest Litigation pending in the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir for protection and preservation of Dal Lake, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and said that all the important tourist resorts and forests are in the custodia legis.

The main purpose of the workshop was to sensitize the participants about issues related to forest and wildlife conservation laws.

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