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T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union of India and Ors
DATE OF JUDGEMENT31 January, 2024 
COURTSupreme Court of India.
APPELLANTIn Re: T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad
BENCHPrashant Kumar Mishra, Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, B.R. Gavai


The case “In Re: T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad vs Union of India and Ors.” before the Supreme Court of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 202/1995, relates to environmental governance and the institutionalization of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC). Filed by means of T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad, the petition seeks the safety of forests and wildlife, and the law of non-wooded area activities in forests. The Court, through numerous orders spanning from the unique charter of the CEC in 2002 to subsequent adjustments and reconstitution, addresses issues concerning the ad hoc nature of the CEC and its effectiveness in imposing environmental laws. The judgment, authored with the aid of Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha and added on January 31, 2024, emphasizes the want for a permanent CEC to ensure higher tracking and compliance with environmental policies and Court orders, thereby safeguarding India’s natural sources.


1. The case originated from a writ petition filed by using T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad inside the Supreme Court of India.

 2. The petitioner sought judicial intervention to address environmental issues, particularly bearing on the safety of forests, natural world, and regulation of non-wooded area activities.

3. The Court directed the status quo of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to monitor compliance with environmental legal guidelines and Court orders.

4. Concerns arose regarding the ad hoc functioning of the CEC, together with the advanced age and residency outdoor India of a number of its participants.

5. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issued a notification in 2023, constituting the CEC as a permanent frame below the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, to ensure better monitoring and enforcement of environmental rules.


1. What issues were raised concerning the effectiveness of existing mechanisms for environmental governance inside the case?

2. How did the Court deal with the ad hoc nature of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its deliberations?

3. Why did there recognition of the want to institutionalize the CEC, according to the judgment?

4. What importance did the case region place on making sure compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders related to environmental safety?

5. What problems were highlighted concerning the enhancement of environmental monitoring and enforcement mechanisms within the case?


The contentions of the appellant in the case generally revolved across the procedural and substantial components of the criminal proceedings. The appellant argued that there had been errors inside the lower courtroom’s interpretation and alertness of the regulation, leading to an unjust outcome. They contended that certain essential portions of evidence had been either left out or incorrectly evaluated, resulting in an inaccurate judgment. Additionally, the appellant raised concerns about procedural irregularities in the course of the trial, alleging bias or unfair treatment via the lower court docket. They asserted that these procedural lapses undermined the integrity of the felony system and deprived them of a fair trial. Overall, the appellant sought to challenge the lower court docket’s selection on each procedural and noticeable grounds, aiming to stable a reversal or amendment of the judgment in their want.


The contentions of the respondent inside the case often aimed to uphold the validity of the lower court’s decision and to rebut the arguments provided by means of the appellant. The respondent asserted that the decrease courtroom’s judgment turned into based totally on an intensive examination of the evidence and application of the relevant legal guidelines. They argued that the appellant’s claims of procedural irregularities had been unfounded and lacked benefit. Additionally, the respondent contended that the proof offered all through the trial supported the decrease court docket’s findings and conclusions. They emphasised the importance of upholding the guideline of regulation and respecting the judicial technique. Furthermore, the respondent sought to demonstrate that the appellant’s contentions have been based totally on misinterpretations or misrepresentations of the information and the regulation. Overall, the respondent aimed to protect the decrease courtroom’s decision and to refute the appellant’s arguments, keeping the integrity of the legal charges.


In response to the writ petition filed by using T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad, the Supreme Court of India issued an important period in-between guidelines to defend wooded area lands. These guidelines blanketed the immediate cessation of unapproved woodland activities and the suspension of tree felling without authorized working plans. A ban on the movement of timber from seven northeastern states became imposed to prevent unlawful transportation. Each State Government changed its mandate to constitute an Expert Committee to identify forest areas and investigate sustainable woodland capability for timber-primarily based industries. Reports on noticed generators, veneer, and plywood turbines’ operations had been required inside months. Additionally, a monitoring committee become hooked up to oversee compliance with the Court’s orders. Existing generators inside 8 kilometres of demarcated forest areas have been prohibited from operating and told to relocate. These measures aimed to preserve forests, adjust wood industries, and make certain sustainable woodland control practices.


The interim guidelines issued with the aid of the Supreme Court in response to T.N. Godavarman Thirumulpad’s petition constitutes a proactive technique to woodland conservation and management. By mandating the cessation of unauthorized forest sports and suspending tree felling without authorised plans, the Court prioritized the protection of woodland ecosystems from degradation and deforestation. The ban on wooden movement from unique states aimed to minimize illegal logging and keep woodland resources. Additionally, the requirement for Expert Committees to assess sustainable forest capacity and oversee timber enterprise operations displays a commitment to knowledgeable choice-making and accountable aid management. Furthermore, the established order of monitoring committees underscores the Court’s motive to ensure compliance and enforcement of its orders. Overall, these guidelines reveal the Court’s recognition of the urgent want to guard forests and promote sustainable practices for the gain of gift and future generations.


This case highlighted the need for maintaining and promoting forest productivity. It facilitates the conservation of biological diversity. As well as safeguarding and protecting environmental conditions were discussed in this case. The outcome of the T.N. Godavarman v. Thirumulpas witnesses the decline and the closure of numerous timber industries. It also created environment awareness among the citizens of India. It prohibited deforestation strictly. This case has acted as a stimulus in environmental conservation and protection on a large scale. The main contribution of this case was the efficient and smooth operation of various laws in carrying out environmental activities


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By –Sheetal Bhadouriya, SYMBIOSIS LAW SCHOOL, HYDERABAD, An intern under Legal Vidya

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