New Delhi: A senior Supreme Court judge on Sunday said if the apex court's actions to save the environment amounted to judicial overreach, then it would continue for a long time.
On the concluding day of an international conference on 'Global Environmental Issues' Justice TS Thakur said, "If we find that it (apex court's direction to save environment) has not been complied with, then somebody may have to pay a price for that".
Justice Thakur's gave the remark in response to power and coal minister Piyush Goyal's statement blaming "judicial overreach" for stunting growth.
Emphasizing that the government has to ensure adequate job opportunities and also ensure that economic development is not at the cost of environment degradation, Goyal said, "It is very important to understand that sometimes, judicial overreach or sensationalization of a particular subject can cause more damage than growth."
Giving the example of felling trees to set up power transmission lines, Justice Thakur said the judiciary did not stand between development and environment but had every right to monitor whether the judgment passed by the court was implemented.
He said, "SC is monitoring the cutting of trees in connection with various projects, every time there is a transmission line to be laid, there is a request made to the SC to allow us to cut so many 100 trees... we refer it to a committee which looks into the matter and a report is submitted and we pass orders but while passing orders we also direct that if you are cutting 200 trees in connection with a project, you ought to plant 10 times more."
Justice TS Thakur said if the Supreme Court's actions to save the environment amounted to judicial overreach, then it would continue for a long time.