The applicant in this present application seeks to quashing and setting aside of the impugned order passed by the Sessions Court and seeks a direction for the Worli Police Station to register the First Information Report and to investigate the case in accordance with Chapter XII of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC).
The facts of the case are that the applicant is a social conscious person and has been raising issues on environmental concerns especially the harm being caused to the environment due to illegal construction. He submitted that several people have started construction of a Commercial and I.T. building without complying with the provisions laid down in the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. These people did not get the clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006. Therefore they have cheated the government.
He therefore filed a complaint under section 156(3) of the CrPC. Through this complaint, the applicant sought investigation by police under sections 420, 120B and section 187 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act. This complaint was rejected by the Metropolitan Magistrate pertaining to the barrier contained in section 19 of the Environment (Protection) Act. Aggrieved by this, the applicant filed an appeal to the Sessions Judge which was also dismissed.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that since the Act prescribes a penalty of Rs. 5 Lakh along with five years of imprisonment, the case is liable to fall in the ambit of cognizable offence but the Act classifies it to be a non-cognizable offence. On the other hand, the counsel for the respondents stated that the applicant was an uninterested party in property in question having the only intention to harass the respondents.
The Court dismissed the application. The Court held that the contention of the applicant that he has the right to file FIR with the police in order to reveal any cognizable offence by the accused under the section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act is without any merit.