T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union Of India & Ors

By – Kavya Singh

In the Supreme Court of India

NAME OF THE CASET.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs. Union of India and Ors.
CITATIONWrit Petition (civil)  202 of 1995  
DATE OF CASEDecember 12, 1996  
APPELLANTT.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad
RESPONDENTUnion of India & Ors
BENCH/JUDGEY.K.Sabharwal,Arijit Pasayat & S.H.Kapadia    
STATUTES / CONSTITUTION INVOLVEDArticle 48A, Article51A in The Constitution of India, Section 2 of forest conservation act


 A writ petition with Supreme Court was filed by T..N. Godavarman Thirumulpad in 1995,  to protect the Nilgiris forest land from deforestation by illegal timber operation. The great significance of point involved in these matters, Relating to protection and conservation of forest in the whole county the court formed the opinion that this matter of forest protection required depth hearing to see all the aspects related to national forest policy.  However, it considered that few necessary directions were required in respect of some aspects of the forest law across the nation. The court issued certain detailed directions for sustainable use of forest and regulating the monitoring and implementation system through the nation at different state-level communities regulating the use, filing and movement of timber across the country in a view of protection of national forests. The court even goes through all the aspects of National Forest policy the forest conservation act in detail to protect the forest.


T.N. Godavarman has assumed an essential part concerning the preservation and insurance of the climate. He has various public interest cases to his benefit which manage preservation thoughts and agreeing with nature. Natural law is a space of public importance that has been seen with the assistance of numerous NGOs and private associations. The apex court has assumed the part of an impetus in shielding the ecological worries by articulating different milestone decisions. This has led to the production of a whole new level of the statute which started with total responsibility. Presently, it incorporates ideas, such as polluter pays rule, economical turn of events, and prudent guidelines.


At the focal point of the controversy is a very large project of the Uttar Pradesh government at NOIDA. As per the applicants, the undertaking is a “huge unauthorised construction”. The candidates express that countless trees were chopped down to clear the ground for the task. These trees framed a “forest” as the term was interpreted by this Court in its request dated December 12, 1996, in T.N. Godavarman Thirumulkpad v. Association of India and Ors.,(1997) 2 SCC 267 and the activity of the Uttar Pradesh Government in chopping down a veritable forest without the earlier authorisation of the Central Government and this Court, was in net infringement of segment 2(ii) of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The Central Empowered Committee CEC on a thought of the relative multitude of materials made accessible to it, including the report of the FSI held that the venture site was not timberland or a considered woodland or a backwoods like the region as far as the request for SC, basically, because the trees in the undertaking region that were chopped down for accounting for the developments were planted trees and not normally developed trees, and because the region was neither advised as “timberland” nor recorded as “timberland” in the Government record. The Court held that the venture site isn’t backwoods land and the development of the task without the earlier consent from the Central Government doesn’t in any capacity contradict segment 2 of the FC Act.


On account of T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad v. Union of India, the Supreme Court left behind the ordinary job of a translator of the law. This landmark case is otherwise called ‘the Forest Case in India’. This is because there was judicial overstepping of the constitutional mandate when the Supreme Court assumed control over the questions of this case. It was in regards to the control and supervision of the forest of India. T.N. Godavarman stopped a writ appeal in the year 1995 in the apex court of India. The principal objective of the writ request was to shield and protect the forest place where there is the Nilgiris as it was abused through deforestation by unlawful timber exercises. The fundamental feature of this case was that it was to save the forest. It was followed by a conference at full length in regards to the National Forest Policy. This was viewed as break bearings that were needed in the applicable issue. This was to check the requirement and execution of forest laws and guidelines inside the subcontinent of India. The Supreme Court gave orders to utilise the forest land and its assets economically. Furthermore told that it’s anything but a self-checking component simultaneously. The court expressed that an execution framework ought to be shaped at the territorial and state level. This was to control the transportation of lumber.

Godavarman Thirumulpad had many critics. It manages the natural privileges of all and the mediation of the court. Just mediation or the infringements of the court can be practised just when they are required. Legal mediations happen when the state comes up short in its obligation to work. The most notable mediations made by the court remember the boycott for the tree felling, direct wood ventures, the disallowance of mining in Kudremukh and with Aravallis, the guideline of sawmills. Most the striking judgment on the idea of forest administration is the inconvenience of duty known as Present Value for the use of forest land for non-ranger service purposes, the foundation of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund, or CAMPA, and hence the arrangement of looking for an earlier endorsement from the Supreme Court for any business activity. Therefore, one man’s effort to stop forest destruction in Gudalur prompted a watershed lawful mediation, which has significantly added to the protection of woodlands. Godavarman Thirumulpad will stay inside legal history.


•The apple raised under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court by the blamed was whether the new translation for Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act and forest land is violative and regardless of whether the utilisation of timber for business purposes is justified?

• The issue is regarding the determination of the environment and majorly damage to the forest which were wealthy in the natural resources begin with the expanding the needs of individual emerging because of a move to industrialisation, migration to an urban area, need more land for cultivation housing and other purposes.

• The tremendous land of forest were being cleared and utilised for the non-forest for business purposes like that of mining unlawful feeling of timber resulting in deforestation.

•Forest which were claimed to be the premier significant resources as the manageability of the country and its people depends upon it for the supply with eminent natural resources were being misused to an amazing degree which too without the reception of compulsory measures.


• According to applicants, the project, undertaken at the instance of the Uttar Pradesh Government is a “huge unauthorised construction”. The confidante state that countless trees were cut down for clearing the ground for the project.

• The appealing rase issue identifying with the security and protection of the forestland all through the country, it was viewed as essential that the Central Government just as the Governments of the relative multitude of States are heard. In like manner, notice was given to every one of them.

•The project included huge developments that were made with no earlier natural freedom from the Central Government dependent on Environment Impact Assessment.

•Forest which are claimed to be the most important resources as the manageability of a country and people depend on it for the supply of famous normal assets were being abused to a phenomenal degree which too without the selection of compensatory measures.

• They applied that there will be a finished restriction on the development of cut trees and timber from any of the seven North-Eastern States to some other State of the country either by rail, street or waterway. The Indian Railways and the State Governments are coordinated to take all actions important to guarantee severe consistency of these bearings.

•More critically, the project was causing incredible harm, and will undoubtedly additionally decimate the fragile and delicate environmental equilibrium of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary to which the site of the project lay contiguous. The project was, thus, incomplete negligence of this current Court’s bearings concerning ‘buffer zones’.


•The respondent denies, similarly, every one of the claims made by the candidates. As per the State, it was setting up a recreation centre that would create and improve the region in a special manner. The recreation centre was imagined as a fine mix of hard and delicate finishing with remembrance constructions and celebration pieces.

• The development of the park did not disregard any law or the request for the Court. There was no infringement of the provision of the FC Act or the EP Act or the notice made under it.

• The setting up of the park made no harm to the bird safe-haven. The candidate’s issues with the development of the park were whimsical and fanciful and activated by slanted intentions.

• As there was a development of parks in the territory to foster the region and carry positive change to the region. The recreation centre was built for the overall advancement of the general public. It gives a positive effect in the locality for individuals living around.


•Section 2 of the forest conservation act

This section expresses that no state government or some other authority can utilise a place where there is the forest for any non-forestry service exercises through the earlier authorisation of the Central Government. Concerning the new understanding of Section 2 of the Forest Conservation Act and forest land, it can not de-save protected forests for business exercises without consent.

•Article 48A in The Constitution Of India 1949

Assurance and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forest and natural life. The State will try to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the country’s forests and wildlife.

It mentions that the state will venture to secure and enhance the environment and also features a duty to guard the forest and wildlife of our nation.

•Article 51A in The Constitution Of India 1949

Fundamental duties It shall be the duty of each citizen of India (a) to comply with the Constitution and respect its beliefs and foundations, the National Flag and the National Anthem;

(b) to love and follow the respectable standards which motivated our public battle for the opportunity;

(c) to maintain and ensure the power, solidarity and integrity of India;

(d) to protect the nation and render public help when called upon to do as such;

( e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among every individual of India rising above strict, etymological and local or sectional varieties; to repudiate rehearses disdainful to the nobility of ladies;

f) to esteem and safeguard the rich legacy of our composite culture;

(g) to secure and further develop the regular habitat including forestland, lakes, streams and wildlife, and to have sympathy for living creatures;

(h) to develop the logical temper, humanism and the soul of request and change;

(I) to defend public property and to forswear savagery;

(i)  to defend public property and to abjure violence;

(j)  to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement PART V THE UNION CHAPTER I THE EXECUTIVE The President and Vice President


It is an essential situation of the climate particularly of the environment T.N. Godavaraman, understanding the situation of the forest and being a mindful resident of India, could not avoid yet depend on rebel against such illicit practices. He went to the Indian legal executive looking for some assistance from the Supreme Court.

On 12 December 1996, a bench led by Chief Justice J.S. Verma passed an interim order coordinating that tree-felling and non-forestry service movement in forestland the nation over be halted. The path-breaking order re characterised the significance of forestland and stretched out insurance to all spaces with natural forest regardless of their ownership. It set out that ‘forests’ will be perceived by its word reference meaning, and the provision of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, will apply to all thickly wooded regions. States were coordinated to form master councils to distinguish forests as defined and document reports. Senior Counsel Harish Salve was designated Amicus Curie to help the Supreme Court. What followed was phenomenal. A few northeastern States, where forests were being ravaged by gangs and unregulated sawmills worked transparently, were shaken. A restriction on the development of illegal timber was forced. Ninety-four railway carts of illegally shipped wood were seized. 

At that stage, even the Supreme Court most likely did not predict that the matter would be kept open for near 20 years. Yet, fortunately, it was, under what is referred to in the established statute as the Writ of proceeding with mandamus. More than a thousand Interlocutory Applications have since been recorded, covering a range of issues concerning backwoods insurance, like mining, tree-felling, the executives of Protected Areas and woodland infringement. 

In light of the rising number of IAs and u idea of the issues in question, the court ordered the constitution of an expert body, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), in May 2002. In September 2002 it was informed as a legal board of trustees with wide-going forces to manage forthcoming IAs, hear new applications, and pass orders in consonance with those of the Supreme Court. Another worldview in the organization of woodlands had been made. The omnibus forest case is as yet open yet under dynamic hearing any longer into its twentieth year. The CEC proceeds, yet not as a legal advisory group.


This case featured the requirement for keeping up with and looking forward to forest usefulness. It works with the protection of biological diversity. Just as shielding and securing ecological conditions were talked about for this situation. The result of the T.N. Godavarman v. Union of India & Ors observes the decrease and the conclusion of various timber industries. It likewise established environmental awareness among the residents of India. It disallowed deforestation strictly. This case has gone about as an improvement in ecological preservation and protection on a large scale. The primary commitment of this case was the effective and smooth activity of different laws in doing ecological exercises.

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