The green bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court imposed a penalty of Rs 100 crore on Jaiprakash Associates Limited (JAL) for “violation” of environmental laws and norms and resorting to “falsehood to mislead” the government for setting up a cement plant Solan district of the state. It also quashed the environment clearance for setting up a 25MW thermal plant in the cement plant’s vicinity and ordered the plant be dismantled within 2 weeks.

The green bench of the High Court consisting of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol said the JAL “lied” about the cost of the cement plant project and contended it was less than Rs 100 crore to skip the clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests whereas the actual cost of the project was more than Rs 417 crore. The bench passed the orders on a petition filed by Him Parivesh Environment Protection Society and Ajit Singh opposing the setting of the cement plant at Bagheri in Solan district and a representation by villages to the Chief Justice, which the bench suo moto treated as a PIL.

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