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C O U R T O F I N D I A RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO(s). 108 OF 2013 NARESH KADYAN VERSUS UNION OF INDIA & ORS. (With appln(s) for exemption from filing O.T.,directions,PERMISSION TO FILE LENGTHY LIST OF DATES) Date: 04/03/2013 CORAM : This Petition was called on for hearing today. Respondent(s) Petitioner(s)

HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE DIPAK MISRA

For Petitioner(s) Mr. Jayant Bhushan, Sr.Adv. Mr. Pankaj Kumar Singh, Adv. Mr. Aniruddha P. Mayee,Adv. For Respondent(s)

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following O R D E R Adjourned to 8.4.2013 to enable learned counsel for the petitioner to serve copy of the writ petition upon standing counsel for the State of Rajasthan, whose name shall be shown by the Registry in the Cause List on the next date of hearing.
|(A.D. Sharma) | | | |Court Master

(Renuka Sadana) |Court Master |

|

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No. IN THE MATTER OF: Naresh Kadyan Versus … Petitioner 108 OF 2013

Union of India and Ors WITH

…Respondents

I.A. No. of 2013 (Application for Exemption from filing official translation) WITH I.A. NO. of 2013

(Application for Interim Directions) WITH I.A. No. of 2013 (Application for permission to file lengthy List of Dates)

INDEX
FOR INDEX KINDLY SEE INSIDE

ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER: ANIRUDDHA P. MAYEE

INDEX
S.No. 1. 2. Particulars. Pages

Listing Proforma List of Dates and Events

3. 4.

Writ Petition with affidavit. Annexure P-1 A copy of the V.T. Krishnamachari Award dated 29.4.1961 Annexure P-2 A copy of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat Annexure P-3 English Translation of the enquiry report by Shri Vinod Kapur dated 20.4.2010 Annexure P-4 A copy of the annual report of the State Level Screening Committee on Sambhar Wetland Project Annexure P-5 A copy of a list of notified areas by the Central Groundwater Conservation Board, which is an authority established under section 3(3) of the Environment Protection Act Annexure P-6 A copy of the GUIDELINES/ CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS/ REQUESTS FOR GROUND WATER ABSTRACTION with effect from 15.11.2012

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

I.A. No. of 2013 Application for Exemption filing official translation.

from

11.

I.A. No. of 2013 Application for interim directions.

12.

I.A. No. of 2013 Application for permission to file lengthy List of Dates.

SYNOPSIS AND

LIST

OF DATES

The Petitioner is filing the present petition in Public Interest for the protection of one of the largest Saline Water Lakes in the World - THE SAMBHAR LAKE in Rajasthan. It is stated that said lake is the Largest Saline Water Lake in India and this saline wetland elliptical in shape, has a length of 35.5 KM and Breadth varying between 3 KM and 11KM. It is located and extends in three districts of Jaipur, Nagaur and Ajmer. The circumference of the lake is 96 KM surrounded on its sides by the Arravali Hills. The water depth of this lake earlier varied from 60 cm during the dry season to 3 metres after the monsoons. The area of the lake varies approximately 90 squire miles. It is stated that the Sambhar Lake has been designated as a “Ramsar Site” in the year 1990 and was home to several species and thousands of migrating birds during the winter season. Along with Phulera and Deedwana, the Sambhar Lake has been one of the most important wintering area for the Flamingoes (i.e. both Phoniconaias Minor and Phoenicopterus Roseus) in India outside the Rann of Kutch. Though Sambhar Lake was designated wetland of

International Importance (Ramsar site No. 464) in March 1990 and also an Important Bird Area (IBA site No. IN-RJ16), it does not fall under any category of Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park or a Reserve or for that matter

any conservation cover under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. It is submitted that on account of the administrative lethargy in bringing the area under the protective umbrella of a statutory regime, the number of Flamingoes have decreased from almost 5 Lakh in 1982-83 to a mere 20,000 in 2008 and may be just few hundreds now. This situation is result of mushrooming of large number of unregulated private salt manufacturers who steal saline water from the lake and also by constructing unauthorized bore wells in and around lake area by laying pipelines from outside in to the lake area which in some cases extend up to even few kilometers. The pipelines have been dug beneath not only on and through government land, PWD Roads but also under the Sambhar Lake in order to illegally extract water from the lake to manufacture salt. The situation is worsening every year and reaching to a point where the existence of Sambhar Lake is under threat. That apart from than the Flamingoes, the Pelicans, common Sheduck, Red shank, common sandpiper, black winged stilt, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Ruff and Sociable Lapwing are other winged visitors to the Sambhar Lake, which also face threats similar to those being faced by the flamingoes. The physico-chemical quotient of Sambhar Lake can be summarized as having a salinity ranging from 2 to 264 ppt and pH from 7.4 to 9.7. Due to

high salinity regime the biodiversity richness is restricted mostly to salt-tolerant are species. The major biotic benthic

components

phytoplankton,

zooplankton,

invertebrates and waterfowls. It is known for its unique faunal diversity: endemic brine shrimp Artemia salina and Sevellestheria sambharensis and characteristic flora: alga Dunaliella salina and Bacterium Serratia sambhariana. This specialized group of Algae and bacteria supports the ecology of the lake which in turn supports the waterfowl. The lake today faces challenges for its very existence. Apart from its geological and biological importance, the Sambhar Lake is also a site of Commercial importance on account of its Salt Producing capacity. It is stated that from saline water of Sambhar Lake, Approximately 21,00,000 Tonnes of Salt is produced each year making the State of Rajasthan one of the three Salt Producing States of India. The Brine of this lake is unique as it has a low potassium content. Traditionally Salt has been produced in the lake for more than 1500 years and the control of Salt Production passed from the Local Communities to the Rajputs, the Mughals, the British (i.e. the then Government of India prior to independence) who took control of all salt production in order to levy duty thereon, and finally to Government of India. Post independence, salt production in the area was

under control by Salt Department through Office of Salt Commissioner, Government of India which was carried out in controlled way and monitoring by concerned

department so that ecology of the lake area is maintained. Post independence, the area of Sambhar Lake was given to newly created public sector for the purpose by

Government of India called Hindustan Salts Limited in 1959 which continued to produce salt with strict monitoring and maintaining ecological nature of the Sambhar Lake Area so that migratory birds continue to find their destination in the area. Later, on account of dispute on royalty between State Government and Government of India, matter was referred for arbitration and by virtue of V T Krishnamachary Award, Government of Rajasthan and Government of India

(Through its undertaking – the Hindustan Salts Ltd) have framed a Joint Venture Company – Sambhar Salts Limited (hereinafter referred to as the SSL for Short) Award whereby the 90 Squire Mile area of Lake has been leased by the Government of Rajasthan to SSL for the purposes of production of Salt and other activities on a commercial basis. It may be worthwhile to mention that SSL production of salt remained around just 3,00,000 tons each year for decades out of approximately 21,00,000 tons of salt now produced in surroundings of Sambhar Lake area.

Threats to Sambhar: As has already been highlighted, Sambhar Lake has a great potential to support large population of flamingos, other water birds and faunal diversity. Hence, it requires proper focus and attention for its conservation. This has become all the more necessary because Sambhar Lake is facing serious threats due to large scale top soil removal by private salt industries, heavy vehicular trespass by villagers, small dam construction in the catchment areas restricting the water supply of the lake, mushrooming of private salt industries on the northern belt of the lake from Nawa to Gudha and other surrounding areas in Nagaur district, Rupangarh and surrounding areas of Ajmer

District, air and noise pollution due to these industries and biotic interference including human pressure due to unregulated tourism and improper drainage system. The poaching during winter months is very high and estimated to be more than 100 aquatic birds poached almost every day and marketed at Jaipur, which is only 70 km away from the lake. It is submitted that each of the threats summarily mentioned herein before are the result of no attention or negligence of authorities and local administration to estimate the far-reaching consequences of these activities of modern development. These threats were already

steadily affecting not only the process of establishment of breeding ground but also ecology of Sambhar Lake and disturbing the feeding population of flamingos and other water birds. It is submitted that the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court has arisen on account of the following:
(a)

Obstruction of the Free flow of water. It is submitted that traditionally Sambhar Lake gets water from a catchment area spanning over 5000 Sq. Km. which reaches the lake through four seasonal rivers i.e. the Mendha, the Rupangarh, the Kharian and the Khandel apart from a number of small streams and rivulets and direct rain water during the rainy season. It is submitted that the state government has constructed a large number of small anikets to support agriculture activity in and around the Catchment area of the lake apart from the Large Bhisalpur Dam in Tonk, Rajasthan. It is submitted that while construction of dams hitherto regarded as an important development for the state of Rajasthan which faces draughts and paucity of water but at the same time for down stream villages it is important that sufficient water is allowed to flow out of the reservoir in order to sustain the life in these areas. Lack of water in the “erstwhile” rivers causes problems of pollution as the

discharge into the “erstwhile” rivers continues but with lack of water inflow, the rivers are reduced to nallas and a place for collection of pollutants from the adjoining villages. Lack of flow of water into the river has a cumulative effect on the availability of water in the lake which resulted almost dry position now in summer months and just less than 30 inches in part of lake area even after rainy season, hence as a consequence there has been a depletion of water in the lake which can be attributed to lack of proper planning and scientific analysis and vested interests within the state functioning. During summer months, since lake bed comes to almost dry position, the unauthorized and unregulated water drawing from bore wells in lake bed has resulted into lowering the underground water table to alarming levels thus disturbing ecology of Sambhar Lake. This situation has forced Central Ground Water Board to declare area as Dark Zone. It is submitted that there is a need to protect the feeding rivers and ensure that they are not encroached so that when during the monsoon season, there is rain, the rivers can flow and bring the water to the lake. It is submitted that if water does not flow through the rivers in the lake during the monsoon season, the lake would completely become dry which would affect the Flora and Fauna

including the Flamingoes and other Birds which otherwise flock to this area during winters. It is submitted that under the V.T. Krishnamachari Award, the state of Rajasthan was under an obligation to provide free flow of water into the lake in order to support salt production and also to maintain sufficient water in the lake. The assurance of free flow of water incidentally also ensured that there was sufficient water not only for salt production but also for the maintaining the ecological habitat of the area providing food and water for the birds, which flock the area. It is however submitted that the state has not honoured its obligation under the award and as a consequence there has been depletion of water in the lake and in fact the spread of the lake has been reduced to a span of less than 7 sq. Km.
(b)

Lack of proper demarcation of the lake and illegal allotment by the State Government. The entire lake, which constitutes the Salt Works had been leased by the State Government to the Joint Venture Company i.e. the SSL, under the V.T. Krishnamachari Award for a period of 99 years from 26.1.1960 at an annual rent of Rs. 5,50,000/- and a 40% share for the State Government in SSL. The total area of the lake spreads to 90 sq. Miles out of which 60 sq. Miles constitute the Lake area and the remaining 30 sq. Miles constitute land area.

The Geological Survey of India has prepared a map of the Lake. However, there is a need to prepare a revenue map by overlaying the said map on the revenue map of the area so as to identify the actual area which was leased to the Sambhar Salts Ltd. It is submitted that in the absence of proper demarcation and boundary of the “Sambhar Lake” which has been leased by the Government of Rajasthan to SSL, there has been a problem of illegal allotment of land by the state government treating the land to be revenue lands. It is stated that about 6620 bighas of land has been allotted by the state government officers which is being claimed by SSL. However, in the absence of a proper demarcated Map with revenue survey numbers which have been leased to the said company, several allotments have been made by the state government. On such alarming situation on unauthorized drawing of water from lake area and lake bed, a question was raised in state assembly and State Government appointed Shri. Vinod Kapoor for making assessment of situation and to submit recommendations. The officer – Shri Vinod Kapur appointed by the State Government itself has in this regard recommended as under:“1. Old map of Sambhar Salt Ltd be overlapped with the recent map of Tehsil Nava and new

map be prepared so that present scenario may be clarified and thereafter lake region be marked from a new dimension. Special team of land management department be constituted for correct information of the area of lake and its recording in the revenue record and its measurement be taken. 2. Police outpost be constituted for the security of lake whose cost be borne by Sambhar Salt Ltd. 3. After demarcation of Sambhar lake, deep

trenches all around the land and boundary of Sambhar Salt Ltd be dug (hard soil digging) (wherever be necessary), so that there may not be illegal tapping of water from the lake area in future nor will be there any kind of

encroachment and illegal tapping of water being done at present by the private salt manufacturers by digging bore wells or

somebody has committed encroachment over the land of Sambhar Salt Ltd, all those will get automatically removed because whichever

pipelines will come out at the time of digging trenches can be broken and removed and in future nobody can jump the trench and install underground pipelines and even the incoming

of water will be intact in the Sambhar Lake. Even this fact is worth mentioning at this place that keeping in mind that there may not be any adverse effect on the incoming of water into the Sambhar Lake, wherever there is possibility of encroachment or of illegal tapping, at those places trenches be dug on priority basis.” It is submitted that the Khud Kaast Commissioner, Jaipur has allotted approximately 730 bigha of land to the Ex. Jaagirdaar and from the year1996 to1998 the District Administration Nagaur (Nava Sub-Div officer and

Tehsildaar, Nava) has allotted approximately 4790 bigha of land out of 6620 bigha of land to various private parties for the production of salt and as a consequence large number of salt producing units have mushroomed in the area. It is submitted in addition that the prior to the allotments which could be made under the Rules, the state

government is required to identify areas which are “Open area” or “Reserved area” for the purposes of Rajasthan Land Revenue (Saline Area Allotment) Rules 1970. The said areas have to be notified by the state government and only thereafter the land is available for allotment. It is submitted that since the area of the lake has been allotted to the Sambhar Salts Ltd, it is submitted that the area of the lake will have to be identified as a “Reserve area” in

which no allotments can be made. The Petitioner therefore most respectfully submits that the allotments made by the state government are therefore wholly illegal and cannot therefore be sustained. The Petitioner most respectfully submits that these

persons use the land allotted for establishment of private salt works and then draw water from the lake illegally thus resulting in depleting the lake water and water of the lake.
(c)

underground

Illegal drawing of water from Sambhar Lake. Sambhar Lake is divided by a five kms dam into two unequal parts. The eastern divide of the lake is a brine reservoir covering an area of 76.8 sq. km. This area comprises number of salt pans (kyars) for the manufacture of salt through natural evaporation method by SSL. Though the process of concentrating salt from the lake brine involves several steps, the lake water is pumped into these reservoirs through sluice gates and after it has attained a certain level of salinity, which increases continuously. The western part of the lake is open water undisturbed natural lake ecosystem. It is also sometimes altered by dredging channels to obtain water for salt manufacturing. Along the southern length of open waters of the lake are situated small clusters of “Dhanis” which are distantly

placed in the region. From Gudha settlement onwards uptill Nawa and further ahead, a zone of about 10-25 km just adjacent and along the length of the lake is occupied by small units of private salt industries. In addition to the persons who have been illegally allotted lands by the state government, persons who own and possess lands outside the lake have indulged in making tube wells and deep bore wells underground to illegally draw water from the lake. It is submitted that on account of excessive drawing of ground water in the area, the central government has by a notification dated 13.8.2011 including the area of Nawa in District Nagaur and Rupangarh in District Ajmer declared as dark zone requiring control and regulation of Ground water by Central Ground Water Board. It is however stated that despite rampant extraction of ground water for industrial purposes in the area, no action is being taken by the board or any authority in the area. The Petitioner most respectfully submits that under the guidelines issued for the control and regulation of ground water by the Central Ground Water Board, no permission for extraction of ground water can be given in notified areas by state administration. It is submitted that while above areas of Nawa and Rupangarh around lake has been declared a

notified area since 13.8.2011, no ground level action has been taken to ensure protection of ground water which is being extracted unabated.

It is submitted that most of the private salt production units use deep bore wells to extract groundwater. Between 15 to 20 bore wells operate in every bigha (0.6 acres) of land. Excess water pumping has lowered groundwater levels by almost 200 feet in the area. Deprived of recharge from subsurface flows, the lake is continuously shrinking and seasonal streams and rivers are now vanishing. In addition, the impact of the practice of using pumped water to make salt now extends beyond the periphery of the lake. Salt production units now hire tankers which plunder groundwater from areas further away. With no control in place to prevent unsustainable groundwater extraction, regulatory authorities remain paper tigers. Most villages on the eastern side of the lake now face an acute shortage of drinking water, causing people to migrate. With regard to the illegal bore wells located in the area, in the report by Shri Vionod Kapur, it has been found as under:Sl.No . 1. 2. Area No. of Bore Wells Jaabdinagar Lake Area 13 Bore Among the bore wells situation from 40 bore behind of Nava Police Station to the hills of Mohanpura, stay order of the court is applicable on a total of11 3. bore wells From Kharadiya till near the Footi 10 Bore.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16 17

Talab From the way of Bawli Gudha till the 15 bore. hills In front of Aau Turning Point 10 bore. Near and in front of Chinai Pillar of 18 bore Aau In the trenches and drain near the 12 bore. Tibo of Aau In the lake near the Hut of Aau 15 bore Bawariya In the middle of Aau near the road 10 bore. On the tibe near Chinai pillar going 22 bore. towards Sinodiya In the lake area going towards 08 bore.

Sinodiya In front of the Hills of Mohanpura in 10 bore. straight line of Aau In the lake area in front of Modi Salt 17 bore. near the hills of Mohanpura Behind the hills of Mohanpura till the 15 bore. old Kharadiya Railway Station In the main lake in the middle of 13 bore Mohanpura and Aau In Khejdi Jungle 04 bore In the lake area beside the Khakdadi 08 bore road Total 240 borewell s

According to the report there are a further 15-20 bores which are so deep which has not come into sight and information of the committee. Therefore, there is

possibility of a total approximately 265 under ground bore wells were present in the lake area at the time of

submission of report in 2010. The number has been growing so fast that petitioner however now understands that the number of illegal bore wells in the area has increased to more than 1000 in just last two years thereby putting acute pressure on the natural resource provided by the Lake. The Petitioner most respectfully submits that in the area of Nawa under the Nagaur district and Rupangarh falling in the Ajmer District, the problem has taken huge

proportions. It is submitted that in some areas, the pipelines along with submersible pumps and cables have been spread to an extent of over even few kilometers under the ground. The pipelines and electricity connections encroach and run under the Government Lands as well as the Roads Constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD). The pipelines and electricity connections are wholly illegal and deserves to be removed immediately but for the pressure of the local politicians.
(d)

Unregulated manufacturing of salt of poor quality by private manufacturers illegally, leading to health hazard. It is submitted that salt production continues to define Sambhar, and most of the town and surrounding areas is employed through the salt industry. In addition to SSL, the company that now controls the legal extraction of salt as

already stated, there are many unregulated private salt manufacturers whose practices erode groundwater

hydrology and threaten Sambhar Lake’s ecological health through desertification. It is submitted that on account of the unregulated salt of poor quality most of which is not suitable for human consumption is manufactured and supplied all over India, putting the health of the large number of citizens in jeopardy. It is submitted that on account of the poor quality of the salt manufactured by the private salt manufacturers in the area, the Salt Commissioner, Government of India, who authorizes movement of salt by rail, had to take action and reject the request for permission to transport the edible salt by railways. In fact all such illegal salt manufacturers drawing illegal lake water and underground water from lake areas have become law unto themselves, threatening the officers who try to prevent them and creating law and order problems in the area. It is submitted that on account of the action taken by the Salt Commissioner, the Local MLA and MP along with the musclemen from the area created ruckus in the office of the Salt Commissioner and had even broken the furniture etc. in his office. Complaint in this regard was made to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,

Government of India who in turn had also written to the Chief Secretary of State Government of Rajasthan about the event but no action has yet been taken. The Petitioner has also come to know that the officers of the SSL were even assaulted in past which was reported to State Government but no action has been taken. The Petitioner also understands that the local administration refrain to take note of such offences and even refuse to register FIR against such persons if some one approaches them. This shows administrative and political patronage to the illegal operators. It has also been reported that many of such illegal manufacturing facilities are owned by local or state politicians or retired civil servants. It is submitted that since no action is being taken by State Government of Rajasthan on such illegal activity or for protection and preservation of Sambhar Lake, the

Petitioner most respectfully submits that appropriate directions need to be given for the protection and preservation of the Sambhar Lake, for the protection of the ecological habitat and also for prevention of such illegal activity in connivance of state politicians and state administration. --The area of Sambhar is located in Rajasthan

approximately 70 km from Jaipur. The Sambhar Lake is the Largest Salt Water Lake in India and

this saline wetland elliptical in shape, has a length of 35.5 KM and Breadth varying between 3 KM and 11KM. It is located and extends in three districts of Jaipur, Nagaur and Ajmer. The circumference of the lake is 96 KM surrounded on its sides by the Arravali Hills. The water

depth of this lake was used to vary from 60 cm during the dry season to 3 metres after the monsoons. The area of the lake varies

accordingly between 190 to 230 sq. KM.

---

The lake has been used as a source of salt production from the 6th century AD, which is also around the time when historians pinpoint that the present-day town was founded by King Vasudev of the Chauhan Dynasty. Over time, salt

production of the lake, as well as the town itself, has passed through the hands of Mughal and Rajput dynasties, and finally by the British until independence in 1947. These different

influences have created a multi-dimensional urban fabric representing all these phases. Sambhar also has a significant religious history. It is believed that the lake was a gift by Mata Shakambhari about 2500 years ago, and is an important religious site for both Hindus and

Muslims. 1869, 1870 and 1879 The British Government through treaties

executed with the Estates of Jaipur and Jodhpur has acquired this source. Till the year 1950, the Govt. of India made payment to these estates in accordance with the treaties. 1935 The Government of India Act, 1935 came into force and all properties belonging to the erstwhile British Government vested in the Government of India. Section 172 of the said Act provided as under:172 Vesting of Lands and Buildings (1) All lands and buildings which immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act were vested in His Majesty for the purposes of the Government of India shall as from that date— (a) in the case of lands and buildings which are situate in a Province, vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of that Province unless they were then used, otherwise than under a tenancy agreement between

the Governor-General in Council and the Government of that Province, for purposes which thereafter will be purposes of the Federal Government or of His Majesty's Representative for the exercise of the functions of the Crown in its relations with Indian States, or unless they are lands and buildings formerly used for such purposes as aforesaid, or intended or formerly intended to be so used, and are certified by the Governor-

General in Council or, as the case may be, His to Majesty's have been

Representative,

retained for future use for such purposes, or to have been retained temporarily for the purpose of more advantageous disposal by sale or otherwise; (b) In the case of lands and buildings which are situated in a Province but do not by virtue of the preceding paragraph vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of that Province, and in the case of lands

and buildings which are situate in India elsewhere than in a Province, vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of the Federation or for the purposes of the exercise of the functions of the Crown in its relations with Indian States,

according to the purpose for which they were used immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act; and

(c)

In the case of lands and buildings which are situated elsewhere than in India (except lands and buildings situate in Burma or Aden), vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of the Federation or, if they were immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act used for purposes of the department of the Secretary of State in Council, for the purposes of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.

It is submitted that powers under the Government of India Act, 1935 were

distributed among the federation and the provinces under section 100 of the Act read with seventh schedule to the said Act which contained a list of areas of

legislative competence of the federation and the provincial governments. It is submitted that the federation list

contained the following entries:10. Works, lands and buildings vested in, or in the possession of, His Majesty for the purposes of the Federation (not being naval, military or air force works), but, as regards property situate in a Province, subject always to Provincial legislation, save in so far as Federal law otherwise

provides, and, as regards property in a Federated State held by virtue of any lease or agreement with that State, subject to the terms of that lease or agreement. 47. Salt.

It is thus submitted that in view of the

above provisions under section 172(a), the lands and buildings used for the purposes of manufacture of salt which was an area reserved for the federal government, the properties came to of be Government vested in Salt the Works Federal

Government under the Government of India Act, 1935. 15.8.1947 India attained Independence. 26.2.1950 It was decided under the agreement executed between Chief of State, Govt. of Rajasthan and Hon’ble President, Govt. of India on 26.02.1950 that payment of royalty shall be made to the Rajasthan Government at the rate of 40 percent on the salt manufactured more then 17.25 lakh tone and 5.50 lakh as lease rent every year for the up coming 10 years. Thus the Government of India entered into agreements which the Government of Rajasthan for a long term of lease of the Salt Sources in Rajasthan for the production of Salt and its bye Products. The agreement for lease entered into between the Government of India and the Government of the State of Rajasthan was to expire on 26.1.1960. 26.1.1951 The Constitution of India came into force. Article

294 of the Constitution provides the manner of succession of the properties. The said article provides as under:294. As from the commencement of this Constitution— (a) all property and assets which

immediately before such commencement were vested of in the His Majesty for of the the

purposes

Government

Dominion of India and all property and assets which immediately before such commencement Majesty for were the vested in of His the

purposes

Government of each Governor’s Province shall vest respectively in the Union and the corresponding State, and (b) all rights, liabilities and obligations of the Government of the Dominion of India and of the Government of each Governor’s Province, whether arising out of any

contract or otherwise, shall be the rights, liabilities and obligations respectively of the Government of India and the

Government of each corresponding State, subject to any adjustment made or to be

made by reason of the creation before the commencement of this Constitution of the Dominion of Pakistan or of the Provinces of West Bengal, East Bengal, West Punjab and East Punjab. Thus in terms of Article 294(a), the Government of India became the owner of the properties which immediately before the Constitution was vested His Majesty for the government of the Dominion of India. It is submitted that as a consequence of the said article, the Government of India became the owner of the property of

Government Salt Works at Kharghoda. In addition it is further submitted that as per entry no 58 in the List I (union list) of the Seventh Schedule read with Article 246 of the Constitution, salt was classified as a Central Subject. It is submitted that in terms of Article 295(1), all properties, assets, rights, liabilities and obligations of Government of any erstwhile Indian State, which was used for any purpose which was covered under the Union List, came to be vested in the Government of India. Thus even if the property belonged to an erstwhile Indian state, prior to the independence, but was

being used for a purpose which was covered under the Union List, the title to the property became vested in the Union. It is submitted that since Salt was a subject matter covered by the Union List, all properties of the Salt works came to be vested in the Union Government of India. 1958 Hindustan Salts Ltd., was a Government established of by India the

undertaking

Government of India with all its share capital being held by the Government of India to undertake the activity of Manufacture and marketing of Salt and for the said purpose various regions under the control of Salt

Department of Govt. of India, also including Sambhar, was transferred to Hindustan Salt Limited on 13.01.59. 22.3.1960 & 30.3.1960 Lease of the salt sources in the state of Rajasthan, was to expire on 26.1.1960 and therefore in order to arrive at the terms and conditions as well as the lump sum

consideration to the paid for the duration of the lease, by a letter dated 22.3.1960, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of the State of Rajasthan and by a letter dated 30.3.1960, the Ministry of

Industries, Government of India, referred the matter for Arbitration by Shri V.T.

Krishnamachari. 29.4.1961 Shri V.T. Krishnamachari delivered the award, known as the V.T. Krisnamachari Award in which it was decided as under:“(1) For 99 Years lease of the Sambhar Lake to the Government of India, the State of Rajasthan will be paid the existing Annual Rent of Rs 5.50 Lakhs over the entire period. The Government of

Rajasthan should carry out all measures needed to ensure free flow of water into the Sambhar Lake. (2) A Company should be setup for

working the Sambhar Area and carrying out the integrated envisaged programme in which of the

development

Government of India (Either by themselves or through Hindustan Salts Co) and the Government of Rajasthan will be

Shareholders. The Government of India will allot free shares in favour of the Government of Rajasthan to the extent of 40% of the paid up capital of the company

from time. This will be in full consideration to the Rajasthan Government for royalty. None of the other claims advanced by the Rajasthan Government are admissible.

The Rajasthan Government will have two representatives Company. (3) For the period between the expiry of on the board of the

the present arrangement (January 1960) and formation of the company referred to in (2) above, payment will be made to the Rajasthan Government on the terms in force up to January 1960. (4) If the period between five year

period 1960-61 to 1964-65 it is found that the aggregate payments made to the Rajasthan Government falls below 80

Lakhs i.e. Rs 16 lakhs a year on an average, the difference will be made good by the company This to is the a Rajasthan temporary

Government.

arrangement to avoid dislocation if any caused to the revenues of that

government during the next plan period. (5) If any question arises in regard to

this award on which the parties differ, a reference shall be made to an arbitrator agreed to between the parties, or in the event of the parties not agreeing, an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of India. The Decision of the arbitrator shall be binding on both the parties. 30.9.1964 SSL a subsidiary Company of M/s Hindustan Salts Limited was constituted in implementation of the V.T. Krishnamachari Award and the entire Sambhar lake was transferred to the said Company on a lease of 99 Years. It is thus submitted that 90 sq. miles region of the lake has been leased by the government of

Rajasthan to the SSL for a period of 99 Years. 20.3.1970 The State of Rajasthan Framed the Rajasthan land Revenue (Saline Areas Allotment) Rules, 1970. Rule 2(f) of the said rules define “Open Area” which is available for allotment and Rule 2(g) defines “Reserved Area” as under:2(f) “Open Area” means a saline area other than a reserved area” 2(g) “Reserved Area” means a saline area in which salt is manufactured by or

under the control of the Government of Rajasthan and/or by the Central Government. It is submitted that under Rule 6(2) of the said rules, the state government has to issue a notification declaring a saline area to be an “open area” or a “reserved area” and thereafter the Director is required to demarcate suitable plots out of the open area. It is submitted that to the best of information available with the Petitioner the state

government has not demarcated the saline area at Sambhar and as a consequence the Sambhar Lake which has been leased to SSL continues to be illegally encroached/commercially exploited by private salt manufacturers. 2.2.1971 The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat was signed on 2.2.1971 in the Iranian City of Ramsar and hence called the Ramsar Convention at an intergovernmental level BEING CONVINCED that wetlands constitute a resource of great

economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value, the loss of which would be irreparable and DESIRING to stem the progressive

encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future. While RECOGNIZING that

waterfowl in their seasonal migrations may transcend frontiers and so should be regarded as an international resource and that the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna can be ensured by combining far-sighted national policies with co-ordinated international action it was resolved to protect the identified wetlands in the respective countries. 23.3.1990 Under the Ramsar Convention, the Sambhar Lake 24,000 ha; 27º00’N 075º00’E. was

included as one of the sites necessitating protection as a wet land in Rajasthan; --It is submitted that in the land revenue settlement carried out, from out of the land of the lake from Village Jaabdinagar to Mohanpura of

District Nagaur, Tehsil Nawa, approximately 6620 bigha of land was illegally recorded in the Khata of the state Government eventhough the same was leased to SSL and on the basis of the said wrongful recording in the revenue records, land was allotted at district administration level for salt production to many private parties, institutions. It is submitted that the Khud Kaast

Commissioner,

Jaipur

has

allotted

approximately 730 bigha of land to the Ex. Jaagirdaar. From the year 1996 to 1998 the District Administration Nagaur (Nava Sub-Div officer and Tehsildaar, Nava) has allotted

approximately 4790 bigha of land out of 6620 bigha of land to various private parties for the production of salt. 21.9.2002 A meeting held under the Chairmanship of Revenue Secretary, Government of Rajasthan on 21.09.2002 with respect to the land of Sambhar Lake, wherein, discussion was also held with respect to the Land measuring 6620 bigha recorded in the revenue records. In the said meeting, the District Collector Nagaur, SubDiv. Officer Nava, Sub-Div. Officer Sambhar Lake, officials of SSL and Under Secretary to the Govt, Revenue Group-3 Department

participated. In the said meeting it was decided as under:(1) Getting demarcation of pucca construction of SSL and adjoining lands in the revenue land from the District Collector and its information be provided to SSL. (2) No kind of land be allotted in this region in

future

and

description prohibited

of

this

region Khasra

(allotment

region)

number wise be made available by the District Collector, so that decision may be taken in this regard; and (3) The allotment which the State

Government has made of revenue land to the persons in a region, till the limits of that region there is no proceeding

requisite, but if besides this, there may be any encroachment then the District

Administration shall carry out effective proceedings in this regard and get

removed encroachment. 28.11.2007 The state government has framed Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment of land in Saline Areas) Rules, 2007, repealing the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Saline Areas Allotment) Rules, 1970. 10.3.2010 The state government appointed Shri Vinod Kapur as an Enquiry Officer to give effect to the decision for carrying out enquiry with respect to illegal possession taken over by the private salt manufacturers on the land under SSL and illegal tube wells, bore well and pipe lines dug for

carriage of water vide Order No. P.10 (7) Industry/Group-2/2010 Dated 10.03.2010. The enquiry had to be conducted in respect of the following:1. Regarding Illegal possession taken over by the private salt manufacturer on the land under SSL. 2. Regarding illegal tube wells, bore well and pipe lines laid for carriage of water by the private salt manufacturers on the land under the peripheral region of SSL. 3. Regarding electricity connection granted for tube wells constructed for carriage of water by stealing from the peripheral region of SSL by the private salt

manufacturers. 2010 Shri Vinod Kapoor submitted a detailed report

detailing the problems being faced around Sambhar Lake and in which the Sambhar Lake has been described as a reserved salt region but it has been stated as under:1. Sambha 90 Sambha r Sambhar Salt Ltd.

r District Sq. Jaipur Miles

Salt Was under

constituted V.T.

Limited

Krishnamachari Award (1961) in the year 1961. Correct boundary knowledge of Sambhar Salt Ltd. is not known But at this

present.

point is also running disputed for which

immediate boundary knowledge is quite requisite. With regard to the identity of the Sambhar Lake Region, it has been stated as under:“No revenue map of the portion by of the

Sambhar

lake

surrounded

boundaries of three District of Rajasthan namely Nagaur, Ajmer and Jaipur nor is there any entry of the portion of this region in the records. Even its entry was not found in the villages such as Nawa, Mohanpura, Baawali, Gudha, Ulhana,

Gudha Rajawata, Jaabdinagar, Gudha Salt of District Nagaur adjoining to the

Sambhar Lake and also not in the records

of villages Typda, Bagh Ki Dhani, Tyod, Dhirawata, Ramni and Korsina of

Khakhadki District Jaipur, Tehsil Sambhar and not even the record of rights in the villages Aau, Sinodiya and Jhaag of

District Ajmer, Tehsil Kishangar, whose copy has been separately presented by the Collector Nagaur for perusal. “… According to the note sent by the Sambhar Salt Ltd, map of Sambhar Lake after independence has been prepared by the Survey of India in the year 1951, according to which area of the lake is 90 sq miles, which Nagaur, is situated Ajmer in three Jaipur

districts

and

respectiveily. In this regard, Sambhar Salt Ltd has made available a letter dated which was written on 16.10.2007 from the office of Survey of India to the Sr.

Manager, Sambhar Salt Ltd in reference to his letter dated 25.09.2007, which was related to the calculation of area of Sambhar Lake. Through this letter, Sambhar Salt Ltd. was informed by the Survey of India that area

of Sambhar Lake as shown by you in the map is 227.57 sq. km. Therefore, you are being supplied data as per requisite

demand. The map concerning the same which was sent by the Survey of India to the Sambhar Salt Ltd. was returned by him with this information. Area as

mentioned in the rear side of the letter is 227.57 sq. km =87.84 sq.

miles=56217.60acres. with regard to the illegal bore wells located in the area, the report records as under:Sl.No . 1. 2. Area No. Bore Wells Jaabdinagar Lake Area 13 Bore Among the bore wells situation 40 bore from behind of Nava Police Station to the hills of Mohanpura, stay order of the court is applicable on 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. a total of11 bore wells From Kharadiya till near the Footi 10 Bore. Talab From the way of Bawli Gudha till 15 bore. the hills In front of Aau Turning Point 10 bore. Near and in front of Chinai Pillar of 18 bore Aau In the trenches and drain near the 12 bore. of

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16 17

Tibo ofAau In the lake near the Hut of Aau 15 bore Bawariya In the middle of Aau near the road 10 bore. On the tibe near Chinai pillar going 22 bore. towards Sinodiya In the lake area going towards 08 bore. Sinodiya In front of the Hills of Mohanpura 10 bore. in straight line of Aau In the lake area in front of Modi 17 bore. Salt near the hills of Mohanpura Behind the hills of Mohanpura till 15 bore. the old Kharadiya Railway Station In the main lake in the middle of 13 bore Mohanpura and Aau In Khejdi Jungle In the lake area Khakdadi road Total 04 bore the 08 bore 240 bore

beside

According to the committee 15-20 bores can also be of such nature those may be constructed too much in depth, which has not come into sight and information of the committee. Therefore, there is possibility of a total approximately 265 under ground bore present in the lake area….”

---

The Petitioner however understands that the actual number of illegal bore wells in the area has increased to more than 1000.

With regard to illegal use of electricity by the said illegal bore wells it has been stated as under:“… Here this fact is worth mentioning that entire encroachment is related to theft of brine from mainly lake region and

manufacture of salt and it is not possible to commit theft of brine without using electricity and laying long pipe line and laying long cable line in an illegal manner. Therefore, for its prevention the Ajmer Electricity Distribution Corporation Limited has to prevent the illegal use of electricity in an effective manner for a quite long time and carrying out of strict proceeding under its rules/acts is requisite for which taking cooperation of district

administration, police administration and Sambhar Salt Ltd as per requirement has to be ensured…” In the end, the enquiry officer has given the interalia following suggestions for permanent solution to the problems being faced:1. Proper demarcation of the area of the Sambhar Lake by overlapping of the map of the Geological survey of India and the

recent map of Tehsil Nava. Special team of land management department be

constituted for correct information of the area of lake and its recording in the revenue record and its measurement be taken. 2. Police outpost be constituted for the security of lake whose cost be borne by Sambhar Salt Ltd. 3. After demarcation of Sambhar Lake, deep trenches all around the land of Sambhar Salt Ltd be dug (hard soil digging)

(wherever be necessary), so that there may not be illegal tapping of water from the lake area in future. Further sufficient security staff be kept, who may keep effective vigil. 4. Joint team of District administration, police administration, Sambhar Salt Ltd., Ajmer Electricity Distribution Corporation Ltd be constituted in order to prevent illegal possession/illegally made bore well, tube wells/pipe lines laid in an illegal manner and the misuse of electricity connection etc on the vacant lying land of Sambhar

Salt

Ltd.

and

proceeding

for

forcibly

removing illegal possession be carried out. 5. Watch towers be constructed at sufficient height at various places in the limits of Sambhar employees Salt be in which sufficient adequate

deployed,

resources be made available to these employees such as binoculars, flags,

mobile phones etc. 2011-12 In pursuance of the recommendations made in the report of Shri Vinod Kapur, the state Level committee was formed in the annual report of the said committee the importance of the Sambhar Lake as well as the problems being faced by it have been enumerated however no concrete action has been taken. 13.8.2011 The Central Government has by a notification dated 13.8.2011 declared Sambhar as a notified area for the control and regulation of Ground Water. It is submitted that the area is classified as Dark Zone where no extraction of ground water is permissible. It is submitted that Sambhar in Rajasthan has been included at Sl. No. 112 of the said List stated to be notified by a notification dated

13.8.2011. 15.11.2012 The Central Government through the Central Groundwater Conservation Board has framed the Guidelines for the evaluation of proposals for ground water abstraction. --It is submitted that despite knowledge of the various problems being faced at the Sambhar Lake, nothing concrete has been done by the state government and its agencies or the government of India and its agencies and as a consequence of the laxity on the part of the State

Government and the Central Government, great damage is being done to the ecological habitat of the area. Thus being aggrieved, the

Petitioner is filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court for passing suitable orders for the protection of the environment and taking measures for the conservation of the Sambhar Lake. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. of 2013

(Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India) IN THE MATTER OF

Naresh Kadyan, S/o. Shri Om Prakash Kadyan, Age 51, R/o. C-38, Rose Apartment, Sector-14, Paschim Vihar, Rohini, Delhi-110085 -Versus1 Union of India, through the Secretary, . Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi 110011. 2 Union of India, through the Secretary, . Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi 110011. 3 Sambhar Salts Limited, (Subsidiary of . Hindustan Salts Limited, )through the Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Salts Limited, B-427, Pradhan Marg, Malviya Nagar, Jaipur 302017, Rajasthan. Petitioner

4 Salt Commissioner, Government of India . 2-A, Lawan Marg, Jhalan Doongri, Jaipur 302017, Rajasthan. 5 Government of Rajasthan, through the . Chief Secretary, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 6 Government of Rajasthan, through the

Principal Secretary, Finance Department, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 7 Government of Rajasthan, through the . Principal Secretary, Home Department, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 8 Government of Rajasthan, through the . Principal Secretary, Industries Department, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 9 Government of Rajasthan, through the . Principal Department, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 1 Government of Rajasthan, through the 0 Principal Secretary, Medical Health & . Family Welfare Department, Government Secretariat, Jaipur 302005, Rajasthan. 1 Ajmer Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited, 1 Through the Chairman & Managing . Director, Hathi Bhata, City Power House, Jaipur Road, Ajmer 305001, Rajasthan. 1 District Magistrate, Nagaur, Collectorate, 2 District Nagaur, Rajasthan. . 1 District Magistrate, Ajmer, Collectorate, 3 District Ajmer, Rajasthan. Secretary, Public Works

1 District Magistrate, Jaipur (Rural), 4 Collectorate, Jaipur, Rajasthan. . 1 Director General of Police, Rajasthan 5 Jaipur, Rajasthan. . Respondent s

WRIT

PETITION

UNDER

ARTICLE

32

OF

THE

CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF WRIT OF MANDAMUS OR SUCH OTHER WRIT OR DIRECTIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION OF THE SAMBHAR AND LAKE HABITAT AND AND FOR EFFECTIVE

PROPER

ADEQUATE OF THE

IMPLEMENTATIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS

CONTAINED IN THE REPORT DATED 20.4.2010 OF THE ENQUIRY OFFICER APPOINTED BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT RELATING TO THE PROBLEMS BEING FACED IN AND AROUND THE SAMBHAR LAKE.

To HON'BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

THE PETITIONER ABOVE NAMED MOST RESPECTFULLY SUBMITS AS UNDER:

1. That the petitioner is filing the present writ petition in

the nature of a Public Interest Litigation for the protection of one of the largest Salt Water Lakes in the World - THE SAMBHAR LAKE in Rajasthan. It is submitted that on account of the administrative inaction leading to destruction of catchments and the rivers which brought water to the said lake as well as on account of excessive illegal drawing of water from the lake has threatened the very existence of the lake and which has in turn affected the saline ecosystem and habitat of the area. It is submitted that on account of the depleting sustainable habitat, the number of flamingoes which were visiting the area have reduced manifold and hence the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court. The present writ petition is being filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for the protection of Environment which is part of Right to life under article 21 of the Constitution of India and the arbitrary inaction on the part of the officers of the central as well as the state government which violates the rights of the citizens under article 14 of the Constitution of India. The Petitioner has not approached the National Green

Tribunal nor has approached any of the concerned authorities in this regard. The present writ petition is being filed by the Petitioner in his individual capacity.
2. The Petitioner a citizen of India and Post Graduate in

Mass Communication & Journalism. The Petitioner is the founder chairperson of ‘PFA Haryana’, which is a non governmental organization for the protection of animals and their rights. His life had been committed for his career and later on got focused on dumb and helpless animals and their protection from insensitive commercial interest and the greed of humanity. The aim and objective of the Petitioner is to provide the mute animals their core rights to live and breathe in this God’s created but mankind controlled world. It is submitted that the Petitioner has been instrumental in a number of events which resulted in saving lives of a number of animals. It is submitted that the Petitioner’s active role helped in saving lives of thousands of cows which were being transported illegally in trains for slaughtering. The Petitioner had also made representations to the government for the protection of Dancing Bears which is being

implemented by some NGO’s of the country. The Petitioner has also worked against the use of Mongoose Hair in Paint Brush Trade and was also instrumental in rescuing 29 Lions and a Bear from the

Russian Komal Circus from Palwal.
3. That in addition to the above, it is submitted that the

Petitioner has been State President of the ‘Akhil Bhartiya Gramodyog Mahasangh’, Founder Chairman of another Non Governmental Organisation – “People for Animals Haryana” affiliated with RSPCA - London and recognized by the AWBI., National Convener of the ‘Pashu-Pakshi Raksha Adhikar Samiti’ under ‘Sarvdeshik Arya Pritinidhi Sabha’ -World Council of Arya Samaj. The Petitioner is an Ex. Inspector of Haryana State – AWBI and Nodal Inspecting Authority for Haryana & adjoining area of Rajasthan in the Ministry of Environment & Forests (Govt. of India). The Petitioner has been Nominee of CPCSEA - Govt. of India and also compiled a Book in Hindi on the basis of the animal related laws, naming ‘Pashuoon Ke Prati Krurta Niwaran’. The Petitioner has filed a number of Public Interest Litigations in the High Courts relating to issues of public causes like Unbranded eatables, Satluj-Yamuna link (SYL), Misuse of oxytocin injections, Former Indian Cricket Team Captain Nawab M.A Khan Pataudi black buck

poaching in Haryana, Elephant Polo in Jaipur, Wildlife Trophies, Dog Marriages in Jaipur. That apart, the Petitioner has been running ambulance & shelter for animals in distress.

BRIEF FACTS LEADING TO THE FILING OF THE PRESENT PETITION ARE AS FOLLOWS:

4. The area of Sambhar is located in Rajasthan 65km

from Jaipur. The Sambhar Lake is the Largest Salt Water Lake in India and this saline wetland elliptical in shape, has a length of 35.5 KM and breadth varying between 3 KM and 11KM. It is located and extends to three districts of Jaipur, Nagaur and Ajmer. The circumference of the lake is 96 KM The

surrounded on its sides by the Arravali Hills.

water depth of this lake varies from 60 cm during the dry season to 3 metres after the monsoons. The area of the lake varies accordingly between 190 to 230 sq. KM. The lake has been used as a source of salt production from the 6th century AD, which is also around the time when historians pinpoint that the present-day town was founded by King Vasudev of the Chauhan Dynasty. Over time, salt production of the lake, as well as the town itself, has passed through the hands of Mughal and Rajput dynasties, and finally by the British until independence in 1947. These different influences have created a multidimensional urban fabric representing all these

phases. Sambhar also has a significant religious history. It is believed that the lake was a gift by Mata Shakambhari about 2500 years ago, and is an

important religious site for both Hindus and Muslims.
5. That in the years 1869, 1870 and 1879 the British

Government through treaties executed with the Estates of Jaipur and Jodhpur has acquired this source. Till the year 1950 the Govt. of India made payment to these estates in accordance with the treaties.
6. That in the year 1935, the Government of India Act,

1935 came into force and all properties belonging to the erstwhile British Government vested in the Government of India. Section 172 of the said Act provided as under:172 Vesting of Lands and Buildings (1) All lands and buildings which immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act were vested in His Majesty for the purposes of the Government of India shall as from that date— (a) in the case of lands and buildings which are situate in a Province, vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of that Province unless they were then used, otherwise than under a tenancy agreement between

the Governor-General in Council and the Government of that Province, for purposes which thereafter will be purposes of the Federal Government or of His Majesty's Representative for the exercise of the functions of the Crown in its relations with Indian States, or unless they are lands and buildings formerly used for such purposes as aforesaid, or intended or formerly intended to be so used, and are certified by the Governor-

General in Council or, as the case may be, His to Majesty's have been

Representative,

retained for future use for such purposes, or to have been retained temporarily for the purpose of more advantageous disposal by sale or otherwise; (b) In the case of lands and buildings which are situate in a Province but do not by virtue of the preceding paragraph vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of that Province, and in the case of lands

and buildings which are situate in India elsewhere than in a Province, vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of the Federation or for the purposes of the exercise of the functions of the Crown in its relations with Indian States,

according to the purpose for which they were used immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act; and (c) In the case of lands and buildings which are situate elsewhere than in India (except lands and buildings situate in Burma or Aden), vest in His Majesty for the purposes of the government of the Federation or, if they were immediately before the commencement of Part III of this Act used for purposes of the department of the Secretary of State in Council, for the purposes of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. It is submitted that powers under the Government of India Act, 1935 were

distributed among the federation and the provinces under section 100 of the Act read with seventh schedule to the said Act which contained a list of areas of

legislative competence of the federation and the provincial governments. It is submitted that the federation list

contained the following entries:10. Works, lands and buildings vested in, or in the possession of, His Majesty for the purposes of the Federation (not being naval, military or air force works), but, as regards property situate in a Province, subject always to Provincial legislation, save in so far as Federal law otherwise

provides, and, as regards property in a Federated State held by virtue of any lease or agreement with that State, subject to the terms of that lease or agreement. 47. Salt.

It is thus submitted that in view of the above provisions under section 172(a), the lands and buildings used for the purposes of manufacture of salt which was an area

reserved for the federal government, the properties of Government Salt Works came to be vested in the Federal Government under the Government of India Act, 1935.
7.

That on 15.8.1947 India attained Independence.
8. That

on

26.2.1950

it

was

decided

under

the

agreement executed between Chief of State, Govt. of Rajasthan and Hon’ble President, Govt. of India on 26.02.1950 that payment of royalty shall be made to the Rajasthan Government at the rate of 40 percent on the salt manufactured more then 17.25 lakh tone and 5.50 lakh as lease rent every year for the up coming 10 years. Thus the Government of India entered into agreements which the Government of Rajasthan for a long term of lease of the Salt Sources in Rajasthan for the production of Salt and its bye Products. The agreement for lease entered into between the Government of India and the

Government of the State of Rajasthan was to expire on 26.1.1960.
9. That on 26.1.1951 the Constitution of India came into

force. Article 294 of the Constitution provides the manner of succession of the properties. The said article provides as under:294. As from the commencement of this

Constitution— (a) all property and assets which immediately before such commencement were vested in His Majesty for the purposes of the Government of the Dominion of India and all property and assets which immediately before such

commencement were vested in His Majesty for the purposes of the Government of each Governor’s Province shall vest respectively in the Union and the corresponding State, and (b) all rights, liabilities and obligations of the Government of the Dominion of India and of the Government whether of each out Governor’s of any Province, or

arising

contract

otherwise, shall be the rights, liabilities and obligations respectively of the Government of India and the Government of each

corresponding State, subject to any adjustment made or to be made by reason of the creation before the

commencement of this Constitution of the Dominion of Pakistan or of the Provinces of West Bengal, East Bengal, West Punjab and East Punjab. Thus in terms of Article 294(a) the Government of India

became the owner of the properties which immediately before the Constitution was vested into His Majesty for the government of the Dominion of India. It is submitted that as a consequence of the said article, the Government of India became the owner of the property of Government Salt Works at Kharghauda. In addition it is further submitted that as per entry no 58 in the List I (union list) of the Seventh Schedule read with Article 246 of the Constitution, salt was classified as a Central Subject. It is submitted that in terms of Article 295(1), all properties, assets, rights, liabilities and obligations of Government of any erstwhile Indian State, which was used for any purpose which was covered under the Union List, came to be vested in the Government of India. Thus even if the property belonged to an erstwhile Indian state, prior to the independence, but was being used for a purpose which was covered under the Union List, the title to the property became vested in the Union. It is submitted that since Salt was a subject matter covered by the Union List, all properties of the Salt works came to be vested in the Union Government of India.
10.

That in the year 1958, M/s Hindustan Salts Ltd.,

a Government of India undertaking was established by the Government of India with all its share capital being held by the Government of India to undertake the activity of manufacture and marketing of Salt and

for the said purpose various regions under the control of Salt Department of Govt. of India, also including Sambhar, was transferred to Hindustan Salt Limited on 13.01.59.
11.

That Lease of the salt sources in the state of

Rajasthan was to expire on 26.1.1960 and therefore in order to arrive at the terms and conditions as well as the lump sum consideration to the paid for the duration of the lease, by a letter dated 22.3.1960, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of the State of Rajasthan and by a letter dated 30.3.1960, the Ministry of

Industries, Government of India, referred the matter for Arbitration by Shri V.T. Krishnamachari. 12. That on 29.4.1961, Shri V.T. Krishnamachari

delivered the award, known as the V.T. Krisnamachari Award in which it was decided as under:“(1) For 99 Years lease of the Sambhar Lake to the Government of India, the State of Rajasthan will be paid the existing Annual Rent of Rs 5.50 Lakhs over the entire period. The Government of Rajasthan should carry out all measures needed to ensure free flow of water into the Sambhar Lake. (2) A Company should be setup for working

the

Sambhar

Area

and

carrying of

out

the

integrated

programme

development

envisaged in which the Government of India (Either by themselves or through Hindustan Salts Co) and the Government of Rajasthan will be Shareholders. The Government of India will allot free shares in favour of the Government of Rajasthan to the extent of 40% of the paid up capital of the company from time. This will be in full consideration to the Rajasthan Government for royalty. None of the other claims advanced by the Rajasthan Government are admissible. The Rajasthan Government will have two

representatives on the board of the Company. (3) For the period between the expiry of the arrangement (January 1960) and

present

formation of the company referred to in (2) above, payment will be made to the Rajasthan Government on the terms in force upto January 1960. (4) If the period between five year period to 1964-65 it is found that the

1960-61

aggregate payments made to the Rajasthan Government falls below 80 Lakhs i.e. Rs 16 lakhs a year on an average, the difference will

be made good by the company to the Rajasthan Government. This is a temporary arrangement to avoid dislocation if any caused to the revenues of that government during the next plan period. (5) If any question arises in regard to this

award on which the parties differ, a reference shall be made to an arbitrator agreed to between the parties, or in the event of the parties not agreeing, an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of India. The Decision of the arbitrator shall be binding on both the parties. A copy of the V.T. Krishnamachari Award dated 29.4.1961 is annexed herewith and marked as Annexure P-1.
13.

That on 30.9.1964, SSL a subsidiary Company

of M/s Hindistan Salts Limited was constituted in implementation of the V.T. Krishnamachari Award and the entire Sambhar lake was transferred to the said Company on a lease of 99 Years. It is thus submitted that 90 sq. miles region of the lake has been leased by he government of Rajasthan to the SSL for a period of 99 Years.
14.

That on 20.3.1970, the State of Rajasthan

framed the Rajasthan Land Revenue (Saline Areas

Allotment) Rules, 1970. Rule 2(f) of the said rules define “Open Area” which is available for allotment and Rule 2(g) defines “Reserved Area” as under:2(f) “Open Area” means a saline area other than a reserved area” 2(g) “Reserved Area” means a saline area in which salt is manufactured by or under the control of the Government by the of

Rajasthan Government.

and/or

Central

It is submitted that under Rule 6(2) of the said rules, the state government has to issue a notification declaring a saline area to be an “open area” or a “reserved area” and thereafter the Director is required to demarcate suitable plots out of the open area. It is submitted that to the best of information available with the Petitioner the state government has not demarcated the saline area at Sambhar and as a consequence the Sambhar Lake which has been leased to SSL continues to be illegally salt

encroached/commercially manufacturers.
15.

exploited

by

private

That on 2.2.1971 the Convention on Wetlands

of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat was signed on 2.2.1971 in the Iranian City of

Ramsar and hence called the Ramsar Convention at an intergovernmental level BEING CONVINCED that wetlands constitute a resource of great economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value, the loss of which would be irreparable and DESIRING to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future. While RECOGNIZING that waterfowl in their seasonal migrations may transcend frontiers and so should be regarded as an

international resource and that the conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna can be ensured by combining far-sighted national policies with co-

ordinated international action it was resolved to protect the identified wetlands in the respective countries. A copy of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is annexed herewith and marked as Annexure P-2.
16.

That

on

23.3.1990

under

the

Ramsar

Convention, the Sambhar Lake 24,000 ha; 27º00’N 075º00’E. was included as one of the sites

necessitating protection as a wet land in Rajasthan.
17.

That it is submitted that in the land revenue

settlement carried out from out of the land of the lake from Village Jaabdinagar to Mohanpura of

District Nagaur, Tehsil Nava, approximately 6620 bigha of land was illegally recorded in the Khata of the state Government even though the same was leased to SSL and on the basis of the said wrongful recording in the revenue records, land was allotted at district administration level for salt production to many private parties, institutions. It is submitted that the Khud Kaast Commissioner, Jaipur has allotted approximately 730 bigha of land to the Ex.

Jaagirdaar. From the year 1996 to 1998 the District Administration Nagaur (Nava Sub-Div officer and Tehsildaar, Nava) has allotted approximately 4790 bigha of land out of 6620 bigha of land to various private parties for the production of salt.
18.

That on 21.9.2002 a meeting was held under

the Chairmanship of Revenue Secretary, Government of Rajasthan with respect to the land of Sambhar Lake, wherein, discussion was also held with respect to the Land measuring 6620 bigha recorded in the revenue records. In the said meeting, the District Collector Nagaur, Sub-Div. Officer Nava, Sub-Div. Officer Sambhar Lake, officials of SSL and Under Secretary to the Govt, Revenue Group-3 Department participated. In the said meeting it was decided as under:-

(1)

Getting demarcation of pucca construction of SSL and adjoining lands in the revenue land from the District Collector and its information be provided to SSL.

(2)

No kind of land be allotted in this region in future and description prohibited of this region Khasra

(allotment

region)

number wise be made available by the District Collector, so that decision may be taken in this regard; and (3) The allotment which the State

Government has made of revenue land to the persons in a region, till the limits of that region there is no proceeding

requisite, but if besides this, there may be any encroachment then the District

Administration shall carry out effective proceedings in this regard and get

removed encroachment.
19.

That on 28.11.2007 the state government

framed Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment of land in Saline Areas) Rules, 2007, repealing the Rajasthan land Revenue (Saline Areas Allotment) Rules, 1970.
20.

That

on

10.3.2010

the

state

government

appointed Shri Vinod Kapur as an Enquiry Officer to give effect to the decision for carrying out enquiry with respect to illegal possession taken over by the private salt manufacturers on the land under SSL and illegal tube wells, bore well and pipe lines dug for carriage of water vide Order No. P.10 (7) The

Industry/Group-2/2010

Dated

10.03.2010.

enquiry had to be conducted in respect of the following:1. Regarding illegal possession taken over by the private salt manufacturer on the land under Sambhar Salt Limited. 2. Regarding illegal tube wells, bore well and pipe lines laid for carriage of water by the private salt manufacturers on the land under the peripheral region of Sambhar Salt Ltd. 3. Regarding electricity connection granted for tube wells constructed for carriage of water by stealing from the peripheral region of Sambhar Salt Limited by the private salt manufacturers.
21.

That in 2010 Shri Vinod Kapoor submitted a

detailed report detailing the problems being faced around Sambhar Lake and in which the Sambhar

Lake has been described as a reserved salt region and it has been stated as under:1. Sambha 90 Sambha r Sambhar Salt Ltd.

r District Sq. Jaipur Miles

Salt Was under

constituted V.T.

Limited

Krishnamachari Award (1961) in the year 1961. Correct boundary knowledge of Sambhar Salt Ltd. Lake is not known at present. But this

point is also running disputed for which

immediate boundary knowledge is quite requisite With regard to the identity of the Sambhar Lake Region, it has been stated as under:“No revenue map of the portion of Sambhar lake surrounded by the boundaries of three District of Rajasthan namely Nagaur, Ahmer and Jaipur nor is there any entry of the portion of this region in the records. Even its entry was not found in the villages such as Nava,

Mohanpura, Baawali, Gudha, Ulhana, Gudha Rajawata, Jaabdinagar, Gudha Salt of District Nagaur adjoining to the Sambhar Lake and also not in the records of villages Typda, Bagh Ki Dhani, Tyod, Dhirawata, Ramni and Korsina of Khakhadki District Jaipur, Tehsil Sambhar and not even the record of rights in the villages Aau, Sinodiya and Jhaag of District Ajmer, Tehsil

Kishangar, whose copy has been separately presented by the Collector Nagaur for perusal. … According to the note sent by the Sambhar Salt Ltd, map of Sambhar Lake after

independence has been prepared by the Survey of India in the year1951, according to which area of the lake is 90 sq miles, which is situated in three districts Nagaur, Ajmer and Jaipur respectiveily. In this regard, Sambhar Salt Ltd has made available a letter dated which was written on 16.10.2007 from the office of Survey of India to the Sr. Manager, Sambhar Salt Ltd in reference to his letter dated 25.09.2007, which was related to the calculation of area of Sambhar lake. Through this letter, Sambhar Salt Ltd. was informed by the Survey of India that area of Sambhar Lake as shown by you in the map is 227.57 sq. km. Therefore, you are being

supplied data as per requisite demand. The map concerning the same which was sent by the Survey of India to the Sambhar Salt Ltd. was returned by him with this information. Area as mentioned in the rear side of the letter is 227.57 sq. km =87.84 sq.

miles=56217.60acres.” With regard to the illegal bore wells located in the area, the report records as under:Sl.No . 1. 2. Area No. Bore Wells Jaabdinagar Lake Area 13 Bore Among the bore wells situation 40 bore from behind of Nava Police Station to the hills of Mohanpura, stay order of the court is applicable on 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. a total of11 bore wells From Kharadiya till near the Footi 10 Bore. Talab From the way of Bawli Gudha till 15 bore. the hills In front of Aau Turning Point 10 bore. Near and in front of Chinai Pillar of 18 bore Aau In the trenches and drain near the 12 bore. Tibo ofAau In the lake near the Hut of Aau 15 bore Bawariya of

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16 17

In the middle of Aau near the road 10 bore. On the tibe near Chinai pillar going 22 bore. towards Sinodiya In the lake area going towards 08 bore. Sinodiya In front of the Hills of Mohanpura 10 bore. in straight line of Aau In the lake area in front of Modi 17 bore. Salt near the hills of Mohanpura Behind the hills of Mohanpura till 15 bore. the old Kharadiya Railway Station In the main lake in the middle of 13 bore Mohanpura and Aau In Khejdi Jungle In the lake area Khakdadi road Total 04 bore the 08 bore 240 bore

beside

According to the committee 15-20 bores can also be of such nature those may be

constructed too much in depth, which has not come into sight and information of the

committee. Therefore, there is possibility of a total approximately 265 under ground bore present in the lake area.” The Petitioner however understands that the actual number of illegal bore wells in the area has increased to more than 1000. With regard to illegal use of electricity by the said illegal bore wells it has been stated as under:“… Here this fact is worth mentioning that

entire encroachment is related to theft of brine from mainly lake region and manufacture of salt and it is not possible to commit theft of brine without using electricity and laying long pipe line and laying long cable line in an illegal manner. Therefore, for its prevention the Ajmer Electricity Distribution Corporation Limited has to prevent the illegal use of electricity in an effective manner for a quite long time and carrying out of strict proceeding under its rules/acts is requisite for which taking

cooperation of district administration, police administration and Sambhar Salt Ltd as per requirement has to be ensured…” In the end, the enquiry officer has given, interalia following suggestions for permanent solution to the problems being faced:“1. Proper demarcation of the area of the Sambhar Lake by overlapping of the map of the Geological survey of India and the recent map of Tehsil Nava. Special team of land management department be

constituted for correct information of the area of lake and its recording in the revenue record and its measurement be

taken. 2. Police outpost be constituted for the security of lake whose cost be borne by Sambhar Salt Ltd. 3. After demarcation of Sambhar Lake, deep trenches all around the land of Sambhar Salt Ltd be dug (hard soil digging)

(wherever be necessary), so that there may not be illegal tapping of water from the lake area in future. Further sufficient security staff be kept, who may keep effective vigil. 4. Joint team of District administration, police administration, Sambhar Salt Ltd., Ajmer Electricity Distribution Corporation Ltd be constituted in order to prevent illegal possession/illegally made bore well, tube wells/pipe lines laid in an illegal manner and the misuse of electricity connection etc on the vacant lying land of Sambhar Salt Ltd. and proceeding for forcibly

removing illegal possession be carried out. 5. Watch towers be constructed at sufficient height at various places in the limits of Sambhar Salt in which sufficient

employees

be

deployed,

adequate

resources be made available to these employees such as binoculars, flags,

mobile phones etc. English Translation of the enquiry report by Shri Vinod Kapur dated 20.4.2010 is annexed herewith and marked as Annexure P-3.
22.

That in pursuance of the recommendations

made in the report of Shri Vinod Kapur, the state Level committee was formed. In the annual report of the said committee the importance of the Sambhar Lake as well as the problems being faced by it have been enumerated however no concrete action has been taken. A copy of the annual report 2011-12 of the State Level Committee on Sambhar Wetland Project is annexed herewith and marked as

Annexure P-4.
23.

That

the

Central

Government

has

by

a

notification dated 13.8.2011 declared Sambhar as a notified area for the control and regulation of Ground Water, It is submitted that the area is classified as Dark Zone where no extraction of ground water is permissible. A list of notified areas by the Central Groundwater Conservation Board, which is an

authority established under section 3(3) of the

Environment Protection Act is annexed herewith and marked as Annexure P-5. It is submitted that Sambhar in Rajasthan has been included at Sl. No. 112 of the said List stated to be notified by a notification dated 13.8.2011.
24.

That on 15.11.2012 the Central Government

through the Central Groundwater Conservation Board has framed the Guidelines for the evaluation of proposals for ground water abstraction. A copy of the GUIDELINES/CRITERIA PROPOSALS/ ABSTRACTION REQUESTS with FOR FOR EVALUATION GROUND OF

WATER is

effect

from

15.11.2012

annexed herewith and marked as Annexure P-6.
25.

It is submitted that despite knowledge of the

various problems being faced at the Sambhar Lake, nothing concrete has been done by the state government and its agencies or the government of India and its agencies and as a consequence of the laxity on the part of the State Government and the Central Government, great damage is being done to the ecological habitat of the area. Thus being aggrieved the Petitioner is filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court for passing suitable orders for the protection of the environment and taking measures for the conservation of the Sambhar

Lake. 26. That the present writ petition in the nature of a

public interest litigation is being filed on the following amongst other Grounds:GROUNDS
A.

BECAUSE the Petitioner is filing the present petition in Public Interest for the protection of one of the largest Saline Water Lakes in the World - THE SAMBHAR LAKE in Rajasthan. It is stated that said lake is the Largest Saline Water Lake in India and this saline wetland elliptical in shape, has a length of 35.5 KM and Breadth varying between 3 KM and 11KM. It is located and extends in three districts of Jaipur, Nagaur and Ajmer. The circumference of the lake is 96 KM surrounded on its sides by the Arravali Hills. The water depth of this lake earlier varied from 60 cm during the dry season to 3 metres after the monsoons. The area of the lake varies approximately 90 sq. miles. The area of the lake varies accordingly between 190 to 230 sq. KM. It is submitted that for the variety of reasons the lake and the ecosystem around the lake is fighting for their very existence and unless suitable orders are made by this Hon'ble Court, the natural and unique saline habitat would be lost for ever.

B.

BECAUSE Sambhar Lake has been designated as a

“Ramsar Site” in the year 1990 and was home to several species and thousands of migrating birds during the winter season. Along with Phulera and Deedwana, the Sambhar Lake has been one of the most important wintering area for the Flamingoes (i.e. both Phoniconaias Minor and Phoenicopterus Roseus) in India outside the Rann of Kutch. Though Sambhar Lake was designated wetland of

International Importance (Ramsar site No. 464) in March 1990 and also an Important Bird Area (IBA site No. IN-RJ16), it does not fall under any category of Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park or a Reserve or for that matter any conservation cover under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. It is submitted that on account of the administrative lethargy in bringing the area under the protective umbrella of a statutory regime, the number of Flamingoes have decreased from almost 5 Lakh in 1982-83 to a mere 20,000 in 2008 and may be just few hundreds now. This situation is result of mushrooming of large number of unregulated private salt manufacturers who steal saline water from the lake and also by constructing unauthorized bore wells in and around lake area by laying pipelines from outside in to the lake area which in some cases extend up to even few kilometers. The pipelines have been dug beneath not only on and through government land, PWD Roads but also under the Sambhar Lake in order to illegally extract water from the lake to manufacture salt. The

situation is worsening every year and reaching to a point where the existence of Sambhar Lake is under threat.
C.

BECAUSE apart from than the Flamingoes, the Pelicans, common Sheduck, Red shank, common sandpiper, black winged stilt, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Ruff and Sociable Lapwing are other winged visitors to the Sambhar Lake, which also face threats similar to those being faced by the flamingoes. The physico-chemical quotient of Sambhar Lake can be summarized as having a salinity ranging from 2 to 264 ppt and pH from 7.4 to 9.7. Due to high salinity regime the biodiversity richness is restricted mostly to salt-tolerant are species. The major biotic benthic

components

phytoplankton,

zooplankton,

invertebrates and waterfowls. It is known for its unique faunal diversity: endemic brine shrimp Artemia salina and Sevellestheria sambharensis and characteristic flora: alga Dunaliella salina and Bacterium Serratia sambhariana. This specialized group of Algae and bacteria supports the ecology of the lake which in turn supports the waterfowl. The lake today faces challenges for its very existence.
D.

BECAUSE

apart

from

its

geological

and

biological

importance, the Sambhar Lake is also a site of Commercial importance on account of its Salt producing capacity. It is stated that from saline water of Sambhar Lake,

Approximately 21,00,000 Tonnes of Salt is produced each

year making the State of Rajasthan one of the three Salt Producing States of India. The Brine of this lake is unique as it has a low potassium content. Salt has been produced in the lake for more than 1500 years and the control of Salt Production passed from the Local Communities to the Rajputs, the Mughals, the British (i.e. the then Government of India prior to independence) who took control of all salt production in order to levy duty thereon, and finally to Government of India. Post independence, salt production in the area was under control by Salt Department through Office of Salt Commissioner, Government of India which was carried out in controlled way and monitoring by concerned department so that ecology of the lake area is maintained. Post independence the area of Sambhar Lake was given to newly created public sector for the purpose by Government of India called Hindustan Salts Limited in 1959 which continued to produce ecology, salt with of strict the

monitoring

and

maintaining

nature

Sambhar Lake Area so that migratory birds continue to find their destination in the area. Later, on account of dispute on royalty between State Government and Government of India, matter was referred for arbitration and by virtue of V T Krishnamachary Award, Government of Rajasthan and Government of India (Through its undertaking – the Hindustan Salts Ltd) have framed a Joint Venture Company – SSL, Award whereby the 90 Squire Mile area of Lake has

been leased by the Government of Rajasthan to SSL for the purposes of production of Salt and other activities on a commercial basis. It may be worthwhile to mention that for SSL production of salt remained around just 3,00,000 tons each year for decades out of approximately 21,00,000 tons of salt now produced in surroundings of Sambhar Lake area. E. BECAUSE Sambhar Lake has a great potential to support large population of flamingos, other water birds and faunal diversity. Hence, it requires proper focus and attention for its conservation. This has become all the more necessary because Sambhar Lake is facing serious threats due to large scale top soil removal by private salt industries, heavy vehicular trespass by villagers, small dam

construction in the catchment areas restricting the water supply of the lake, mushrooming of private salt industries on the northern belt of the lake from Nawa to Gudha and other surrounding areas in Nagaur district, Rupangarh and surrounding areas of Ajmer District, air and noise pollution due to these industries and biotic interference including human pressure due to unregulated tourism and improper drainage system. The poaching during winter months is very high and estimated to be more than 100 aquatic birds poached almost every day and marketed at Jaipur, which is only 70 km away from the lake. It is submitted that each of the threats summarily mentioned herein before are the

result of no attention or negligence of authorities and local administration to estimate the far-reaching consequences of these activities of modern development. These threats were already steadily affecting not only the process of establishment of breeding ground but also ecology of Sambhar Lake and disturbing the feeding population of flamingos and other water birds.
F.

BECAUSE the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court arises as there is obstruction to the free flow of water. It is submitted that traditionally Sambhar Lake gets water from a catchment area spanning over 5000 sq. Km. which reaches the lake through four seasonal rivers i.e. the Mendha, the Rupangarh, the Kharian and the Khandel apart from a number of small streams and rivulets and direct rain water during the rainy season. It is submitted that the state government has constructed a large number of small anikets to support agriculture activity in and around the catchment area of the lake apart from the Large Bhisalpur Dam in Tonk, Rajasthan. It is submitted that while construction of dams hitherto regarded as an important development for the state of Rajasthan which faces draughts and paucity of water but at the same time for down stream villages it is important that sufficient water is allowed to flow out of the reservoir in order to sustain the life in these areas. Lack of water in the “erstwhile” rivers causes problems of pollution

as the discharge into the “erstwhile” rivers continues but with lack of water inflow, the rivers are reduced to nallas and a place for collection of pollutants from the adjoining villages.
G.

BECAUSE Lack of flow of water into the river has a cumulative effect on the availability of water in the lake which resulted almost to dry position now in summer months and just less than 30 inches in part of lake area even after rainy season, hence as a consequence there has been a depletion of water in the lake which can be attributed to lack of proper planning and scientific analysis and vested interests within the state functioning. During summer months, since lake bed comes to almost dry position, the unauthorized and unregulated water drawn from bore wells in lake bed has resulted into lowering the underground water table to alarming levels thus disturbing ecology of Sambhar Lake. This situation has forced Central Ground Water Board to declare the area as Dark Zone.

H.

BECAUSE there is a need to protect the feeding rivers and ensure that they are not encroached so that when during the monsoon season there is rain, the rivers can flow and bring the water to the lake. It is submitted that if water does not flow through the rivers in the lake during the monsoon season, the lake would completely become dry which would affect the Flora and Fauna including the

Flamingoes and other Birds which otherwise flock to this area during winters. It is submitted that under the V.T. Krishnamachari Award, the state of Rajasthan was under an obligation to provide a free flow of water into the lake in order to support salt production and also to maintain sufficient water in lake. The assurance of free flow of water incidentally also ensured that there was sufficient water not only for salt production but also for maintaining the ecological habitat of the area providing food and water for the birds which flock the area. It is however submitted that the state has not honoured its obligation under the award and as a consequence there has been a depletion of water in the lake and in fact the spread of the lake has been reduced to a span of less than 7 sq. km.
I.

BECAUSE the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court has arisen as there is lack of proper demarcation of the lake and illegal allotments by the State Government. The entire lake, which constitutes the Salt Works had been leased by the State Government to the Joint Venture Company i.e. the SSL, under the V.T. Krishnamachari Award for a period of 99 years from 26.1.1960 at an annual rent of Rs. 5,50,000/- and a 40% share for the State Government in SSL. The total area of the lake spreads to 90 sq. Miles out of which 60 sq. Miles constitute the Lake area and the remaining 30 sq. Miles constitute land area. The Geological Survey of India has

prepared a map of the Lake however there is a need to prepare a revenue map by overlaying the said map on the revenue map of the area so as to identify the actual area which was leased to the SSL. It is submitted that in the absence of proper demarcation and boundary of the “Sambhar Lake” which has been leased by the

Government of Rajasthan to the SSL, there has been a problem of illegal allotment of land by the state

government treating the land to be revenue lands. It is stated that about 6620 bighas of land has been allotted by the state government officers which is being claimed by the SSL, however in the absence of a proper demarcated Map with revenue survey Numbers which have been leased to the said company, several allotments have been made by the state government. The enquiry officer – Shri Vinod Kapur appointed by the State Government itself has in this regard recommended as under:“1. Old map of Sambhar Salt Ltd be overlapped with the recent map of Tehsil Nava and new map be prepared so that present scenario may be clarified and thereafter lake region be marked from a new dimension. Special team of land management department be constituted for correct information of the area of lake and its recording in the revenue record and its measurement be taken.

2.

Police outpost be constituted for the security of lake whose cost be borne by Sambhar Salt Ltd.

3.

After

demarcation

of

Sambhar

lake,

deep

trenches all around the land of Sambhar Salt Ltd be dug (hard soil digging) (wherever be necessary), so that there may not be illegal tapping of water from the lake area in future nor will be there any kind of encroachment and illegal tapping of water being done at present by the private salt manufacturers by digging bore wells or somebody has committed

encroachment over the land of Sambhar Salt Ltd, all those will get automatically removed because whichever pipelines will come out at the time of digging trenches can be broken and removed and in future nobody can jump the trench and install underground pipelines and even the incoming of water will be intact in the Sambhar Lake. Even this fact is worth

mentioning at this place that keeping in mind that there may not be any adverse effect on the incoming of water into the Sambhar Lake, wherever there is possibility of encroachment or of illegal tapping, at those places trenches be dug on priority basis.

It is submitted that the Khud Kaast Commissioner, Jaipur has allotted approximately 730 bigha of land to the Ex. Jaagirdaar and from the year1996 to1998 the District Administration Nagaur (Nava Sub-Div officer and Tehsildaar, Nava) has allotted approximately 4790 bigha of land out of 6620 bigha of land to various private parties for the production of salt and as a consequence large number of salt producing units have mushroomed in the area.
J.

BECAUSE prior to the allotments which could be made under the Rules, the state government is required to identify areas which are “Open area” or “Reserved area” for the purposes of Rajasthan Land Revenue (Saline Area Allotment) Rules 1970. The said areas have to be notified by the state government and only thereafter the land is available for allotment. It is submitted that since the area of the lake has been allotted to SSL, it is submitted that the area of the lake will have to be identified as a “Reserve area” in which no allotments can be made. The Petitioner therefore most respectfully submits that the allotments made by the state government are therefore wholly illegal and cannot therefore be sustained.

K.

BECAUSE

these

persons

use

the

land

allotted

for

establishment of private salt works and then draw water from the lake illegally thus resulting in depleting the

ground as well as underground water of the lake.
L.

BECAUSE the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court has arisen as there is illegal drawing of water from the lake. Sambhar Lake is divided by a five kms dam into two unequal parts. The eastern divide of the lake is a brine reservoir covering an area of 76.8 sq. km. This area comprises number of salt pans (kyars) for the manufacture of salt through natural evaporation method by SSL. Though the process of concentrating salt from the lake brine involves several steps, the lake water is pumped into these reservoirs through sluice gates in the dam after it has attained a certain level of salinity which increases continuously. The western part of the lake is open water undisturbed natural lake ecosystem. It is also sometimes altered by dredging channels to obtain water for salt manufacturing. Along the southern length of open waters of the lake are situated small clusters of “Dhanis” which are distantly placed in the region. From Gudha settlement onwards up-till Nawa and further ahead, a zone of about 10-15 km just adjacent and along the length of the lake is occupied by small units of private salt industries. In addition to the persons who have been illegally allotted lands by the state government, persons who own and possess lands outside the lake have indulged in making tube wells and well as bore wells extending more than 2000 feet underground to illegally

draw water from the lake.
M.

BECAUSE on account of excessive drawing of ground water in the area, the central government has by a notification dated 13.8.2011 including the area of Nawa in District Nagaur and Rupangarh in District Ajmer declared as dark zone requiring control and regulation of ground water by Central Ground Water Board. It is however stated that despite rampant extraction of ground water for industrial purposes in the area no action is being taken by the board or any authority in the area. The Petitioner most

respectfully submits that under the guidelines issued for the control and regulation of ground water by the Central Ground Water Board, no permission for extraction of ground water can be given in notified areas by state administration. It is submitted that while above areas of Nawa and Rupangarh around lake has been declared a

notified area since 13.8.2011, no ground level action has been taken to ensure protection of ground water which is being extracted unabated.
N.

BECAUSE most of the private salt production units use deep borewells to extract groundwater. Between 15 to 20 borewells operate in every bigha (0.6 acres) of land. Excess water pumping has lowered groundwater levels by almost 200 feet in the area. Deprived of recharge from subsurface flows, the lake is continuously shrinking and

seasonal streams and rivers are now vanishing. In addition, the impact of the practice of using pumped water to make salt now extends beyond the periphery of the lake. Salt production units now hire tankers which plunder

groundwater from areas further away. With no control in place to prevent unsustainable groundwater extraction, regulatory authorities remain paper tigers. Most villages on the eastern side of the lake now face an acute shortage of drinking water causing people to migrate. With regard to the illegal bore wells located in the area, in the report by Shri Vionod Kapur, it has been found apart from the identified 240 bore wells there are a further 15-20 bores which are so deep which has not come into sight and information of the committee. Therefore, there is

possibility of a total approximately 265 under ground bore present in the lake area. The number has been growing so fast that petitioner however now understands that the

number of illegal bore wells in the area has increased to more than 1000 in just last two years thereby putting acute pressure on the natural resource provided by the Lake. The Petitioner most respectfully submits that in the area of Nava under the Nagore district and Rupangarh falling in the Ajmer District, the problem has taken huge proportions. It is submitted that in some areas, the pipelines along with submersible pumps and cables have been spread to an extent over even few kilometers under

the ground. The pipelines encroach and run under the Government Lands as well as the Roads Constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD). The pipelines are wholly illegal and deserves to be removed immediately but for the pressure of the local politicians.
O.

BECAUSE the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court has arisen as there is

unregulated manufacturing of salt of poor quality by private manufacturers illegally which is a health hazard. It is submitted that salt production continues to define Sambhar and most of the town and surrounding areas is employed through the salt industry. In addition to SSL, the company that now controls the legal extraction of salt as already stated, there are many unregulated private salt manufacturers whose practices erode groundwater

hydrology and threaten Sambhar Lake’s ecological health through desertification. It is submitted that on account of the unregulated salt of poor quality which most is not suitable for human consumption is manufactured and supplied all over India, putting the health of the large number of citizens in jeopardy. It is submitted that on account of the poor quality of the salt manufactured by the private salt manufacturers Government in of the India, area, who the Salt

Commissioner,

authorizes

movement of salt by rail, had to take action and reject the request for permission to transport the edible salt by

railways. In fact all such illegal salt manufacturers drawing illegal lake water and underground water from lake areas have become law unto themselves, threatening the officers who try to prevent them and creating law and order problem in the area. It is submitted that on account of the action taken by the Salt Commissioner, the Local MLA and MP along with the musclemen from the area created ruckus in the office of the Salt Commissioner and had even broken the furniture etc. in his office. Complaint in this regard was made to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India who in turn had also written to the Chief Secretary of State Government of Rajasthan about the event but no action has yet been taken. The Petitioner has also come to know that the officers of the SSL were even assaulted in past which was reported to State Government but no action has been taken. The Petitioner also understands that the local administration refrain to take note of such offences and even refuse to register FIR against such persons if some one approaches them. This shows administrative and political patronage to the illegal operators. It has also been reported that many of such illegal manufacturing facilities are owned by local or state politicians or retired civil servants.
P.

BECAUSE no action is being taken by State Government of

Rajasthan on such illegal activity or for protection and preservation of Sambhar Lake, the Petitioner most

respectfully submits that appropriate directions need to be given for the protection and preservation of the Sambhar Lake, for the protection of the ecological habitat and also for prevention of such illegal activity in connivance of state politicians and state administration.
27.

That the Petitioner has not filed any other writ petition either before this Hon'ble Court under Article 32 or before any High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking the reliefs which are being prayed for in the present Writ Petition.

28.

That the copies of the aforesaid Annexures are true and correct copies of their respective originals. PRAYER

(a)

By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct proper and adequate and effective implementations of the

recommendations contained in the report dated 20.4.2010 of the Enquiry Officer appointed by the State Government relating to the problems being faced in and around the Sambhar lake. (b) By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct proper and adequate demarcation of the Sambhar Lake and after demarcation direct the Central Government, the State

Government as well as M/s Sambhar Salts Ltd. to dig deep and wide trenches around the lake which would serve multiple purpose of (i) Rain water harvesting, (ii) Recharge the ground water, (iii) Prevent illegal drawing of water from adjoining areas by borewells, (iv) Prevent encroachment on Government Land.
(c)

By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct the state government to ensure supply of adequate amount of free water to the Sambhar Lake through Natural Rivers for the protection of the unique natural saline habitat and ecosystem which inturn supports the Flora and Fauna of the area including the Flamingoes and other birds which flock the area.

(d)

By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct the Central Government as well as the State Government to lay down proper statutory framework for the Protection of The Sambhar Lake which is a recognized Ramsar Site and till the Central Government as well as the State

Government frames suitable framework, pass suitable orders for the preservation and conservation of the Sambhar Lake Habitat. (e) By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct the State Government Conservation as well to as the Central the Groundwater borewells

Board

remove

illegal

operating in the area around the Sambhar Lake and further

direct the Ajmer Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd. (the electricity Distribution agency) not to permit the electricity

connections for running illegal borewells for drawing water from the Sambhar Lake.
(f)

By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, Direct the State authorities of Jaipur, Nagore and Ajmer District to make a coordinated effort for removal of encroachments, illegal water pipelines, electricity connections/cables passing through state government land/roads connecting to Bore Wells in Lake Area and area of SSL and to provide adequate police protection for effective implementation of the recommendations contained in the report dated 20.4.2010 of the Enquiry Officer appointed by the State Government.

(g)

By an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction, direct the cancellation of allotment of land for extraction of salt and other industrial use made post 1947 by the State Government in the catchment area and from the areas surrounding the Sambhar Lake.

(h)

Pass such other and further orders as this Hon'ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the present case and in the interest of justice. AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIONER SHALL AS IN DUTY BOUND EVER PRAY Drawn on: DRAWN AND FILED BY

(ANIRUDDHA P. MAYEE) FILED BY: ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No. IN THE MATTER OF : Naresh Kadyan Versus Union of India and Ors … Respondents … Petitioner OF 2013

A F F I D A V I T I, Naresh Kadyan, Naresh Kadyan, S/o. Shri Om Prakash Kadyan, Age 51, R/o. C-38, Rose Apartment, Sector-14, Paschim Vihar, Rohini, Delhi110085, do hereby solemnly affirm and say as under: 1. That, I am the Petitioner in the above noted

case and as such I am fully conversant with the facts and proceedings of the case. 2. That, I have read and understood the contents in page Nos. to to of the Writ Petition are true and the list of dates and correct to my

of para Nos. 1 to accompanying stated therein from page Nos. B knowledge. 3.

and I say that the facts

That, I have read and understood the contents

of the I. As. and say that the contents thereof are true and correct to my knowledge.

4.

That the Annexures filed with the Writ Petition

are true and correct copies of their originals.

DEPONENT VERIFICATION : I, the aforesaid deponent do hereby verify that the of contents it is false of this and para nothing nos. 1 to 5 of the been foregoing affidavit are true and correct and no part material has concealed therefrom. Verified at _______ on this ____ day January, 2013.

DEPONENT

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION I.A. NO. IN WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No. IN THE MATTER OF : Naresh Kadyan Versus Union of India and Ors … Respondents … Petitioner OF 2013 OF 1013

APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO FILE LENGTHY LIST OF DATES TO THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

HUMBLE APPLICATION OF THE APPLICANT ABOVE NAMED

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH ; 1. That the petitioner is filing the present writ in the nature of a Public Interest

petition

Litigation for the protection of one of the largest Salt Water Lakes in the World - The Sambhar

Lake in Rajasthan. It is submitted that on account

of

the

administrative

inaction

leading

to

destruction of catchments and the rivers which brought water to the said lake as well as and excessive illegal drawing of water from the lake has threatened the very existence of the lake and which has inturn affected the saline ecosystem and habitat of the area. It is submitted that on account of the depleting sustainable habitat, the number of flamingoes which were visiting the area have reduced manifold and hence the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court. The present writ petition is being filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for the protection of Environment which is part of Right to life under article 21 of the Constitution of India and the arbitrary inaction on the part of the officers of the central as well the as the of state the

government

which

violates

rights

citizens under article 14 of the Constitution of India.

2.

The Petitioner states that the petitioner has

set out all the relevant facts in detail in the accompanying list of dates and the petitioner

shall crave leave to refer to and rely upon the same as if incorporated herein verbatim for the

sake of brevity. The Petitioner submits that the petitioner has a good case on merits and is likely to succeed before this Hon’ble Court. The

Petitioner states that the petitioner has made out a prima facie case on merits and the balance of convenience is also in favour of the petitioner. Therefore, it is desirable in the interest of justice that the relief as prayed for herein be granted or else the petitioner shall suffer irreparable loss. 3. The Petitioner, therefore pray that: P R A Y E R A. That this Hon’ble court be pleased to permit

the Petitioner to file the lengthy List of Dates in the present Writ Petition; and B. Pass any other order (s) and or directions as

this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper.

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIOENR SHALL AS IN DUTY BOUND EVER PRAY FILED BY

Place: New Delhi Dated:

(ANIRUDDHA P. MAYEE) ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION I.A. NO. IN WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No. IN THE MATTER OF : Naresh Kadyan Versus Union of India and Ors … Respondents … Petitioner OF 2013 OF 1013

APPLICATION CODE OF DIRECTIONS To,

UNDER

SECTION

151 FOR

OF

THE

CIVIL

PROCEDURE

INTERIM

HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES INDIA. THE HUMBLE APPLICATION OF THE APPLICANT OF THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF

ABOVE NAMED. MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH: 1. That the petitioner is filing the present writ in the nature of a Public Interest

petition

Litigation for the protection of one of the largest Salt Water Lakes in the World - THE SAMBHAR

LAKE in Rajasthan. It is submitted that on account

of

the

administrative

inaction

leading

to

destruction of catchments and the rivers which brought water to the said lake as well as and excessive illegal drawing of water from the lake has threatened the very existence of the lake and which has in turn affected the saline ecosystem and habitat of the area. It is submitted that on account of the depleting sustainable habitat, the number of flamingoes which were visiting the area have reduced manifold and hence the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court. The present writ petition is being filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for the protection of Environment which is part of Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the arbitrary inaction on the part of the officers of the central as well the as the of state the

government

which

violates

rights

citizens under Article 14 of the Constitution of India. 2. The Petitioner has narrated the complete

facts leading to the filing of the said Writ Petition in the accompanied Petition. The averments made therein are not reproduced to avoid repetition. The petitioner craves leave of this Hon’ble Court

to read the averments made in the accompanied Writ Petition as a part and parcel of this

Application. 3. The Petitioner further submits that no harm

or prejudice would be caused to the Respondents if an ex-parte order as prayed by the petitioner is passed by this Hon’ble Court. 4. The Petitioner submits that the balance of

convenience also lies in his favour. The petitioner also has a very good prima facie case in his favour and, there is all the likelihood to their succeeding in the Writ Petition.

5.

PRAYER: The Petitioner, therefore, most respectfully

pray to this Hon’ble Court that:

a)

pending the hearing and final disposal of the present petition, this Hon’ble Court may by an the interim order direct the Respondents for preservation and conservation of the

Sambhar Lake Habitat and direct the State Government as well as the Central

Groundwater Conservation Board to remove the illegal borewells operating in the area

around the Sambhar Lake and further direct the Ajmer Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd. (the

electricity Distribution agency) not to permit the electricity connections for running illegal borewells for drawing water from the

Sambhar Lake and further direct the State authorities District removal pipelines, to of of Jaipur, a Nagore and Ajmer for

make

coordinated

effort

encroachments , electricity

illegal

water

connections/cables

passing through state government land/roads connecti ng to Bore Wells in Lake Area and area of SSL.

b)

such other and further orders be passed as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper under the circumstances of the case.

AND

FOR

THIS SHALL

ACT AS

OF IN

KINDNESS, BOUND

THE EVER

PETITIONERS PRAY.

DUTY

FILED BY

(ANIRUDDHA P. MAYEE) Dated: ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION I.A. NO. IN WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) No. IN THE MATTER OF : Naresh Kadyan Versus Union of India and Ors … Respondents … Petitioner OF 2013 OF 2013

APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM FILING OFFICIAL TRANSLATION

TO THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

HUMBLE APPLICA TION OF THE PETITIONER ABOVE NAMED

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH; 1. That the petitioner is filing the present writ in the nature of a Public Interest

petition

Litigation for the protection of one of the largest Salt Water Lakes in the World - THE SAMBHAR

LAKE in Rajasthan. It is submitted that on account of the administrative inaction leading to

destruction of catchments and the rivers which brought water to the said lake as well as and excessive illegal drawing of water from the lake has threatened the very existence of the lake and which has inturn affected the saline ecosystem and habitat of the area. It is submitted that on account of the depleting sustainable habitat, the number of flamingoes which were visiting the area have reduced manifold and hence the need for filing the present writ petition before this Hon'ble Court. The present writ petition is being filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for the protection of Environment which is part of Right to life under article 21 of the Constitution of India and the arbitrary inaction on the part of the officers of the central as well the as the of state the

government

which

violates

rights

citizens under article 14 of the Constitution of India. 2. The petitioner states that documents being P-3 and part of Annexure P-4 was

Annexure

originally in Hindi and in view of the urgency, the same have been got translated by an Advocate well conversant with the vernacular language.

The

Petitioner

states

that

it

is

desirable

in the interest of justice that the Petitioner be exempted from filing official translation and the English Translation done by the Advocate be

accepted. 3. The Petitioner, therefore, prays that: PRAYER

A) The Petitioner be exempted from filing

official translation of Annexure P-3 and part of Annexure P-4 and English

translation thereof be accepted.

B)

Pass any other order and or directions as

this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper.

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIONER SHALL AS IN DUTY BOUND EVER PRAY. Filed by:

PLACE : NEW DELHI DATE :

(ANIRUDDHA P. MAYEE ) Advocate for Petitioner

Link for online petition: http://www.cha nge.org/en-IN/petitions/protect-

sambhar-lake-wetland-of-rajasthan-naresh- kadyan

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