While rejecting the plea of Haryana State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw observed that the matter was being pursued "to satisfy the ego of some officers" and hoped it will not be pressed further.
"We do not find any merit in the appeal which is dismissed. We refrain from imposing any costs on appellant (Haryana SEIAA) and its officers who have filed this appeal in the hope that the appellants will not press the matter further which appears to being pursued to satisfy the ego of some officers of the appellants," the bench said.
The state had challenged the high court's May 26 order, passed with the consent of both parties, restraining Haryana from initiating proceedings against Maruti for not taking EC prior to setting up its unit in Rohtak.
The order was passed after the Additional Advocate General (AAG) for the state had submitted before a single-judge bench of the high court that it supports an amicable resolution of the disputes.
With the consent of Haryana and Maruti, the High Court on May 26 had said that if the legality and validity of the 2006 notification are upheld and Maruti as well as its directors undertake to obtain ex-post facto EC and comply with its terms and conditions for project in Rohtak and all future projects in Haryana, the state would consider not initiating any criminal action against the company for not procuring prior EC with regard to the present project.
Challenging the order, SEIAA, in its plea, had contended that such an amicable settlement was not provided for under the statute in environment matters.     

It had also said that the state had given no instructions to the AAG to give consent.

Rejecting the authority's contention, the bench said, "No steps have been taken to elicit the comments of the Additional Advocate General who would have been in a position to inform on whose instructions he had made the statement before the single judge."
"We are therefore unable to accept the said contention and which we are constrained to observe, has been taken in a very casual manner and not befitting to the office of Additional Advocate General," it said.
The court also said, "We are unable to comprehend the argument of the counsel for the appellants that the consent earlier given on behalf of the appellant 1 (Haryana SEIAA), of not prosecuting respondent 1 (Maruti), is contrary to the statute. The counsel for appellants has failed to elaborate on the said aspect."
The bench also said that the stand taken by the AAG before the single judge was "a very fair and a correct one" and added "It appears that the state of Haryana at that time was more interested in the notification of September 14, 2006 as interpreted and enforced by it, being not challenged and the dispute being amicably settled."
According to the 2006 notification, constructions and buildings on areas of over 20,000 sq m require prior EC and this has been made applicable to Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
The state government was of the view that the Maruti facility is similar to an SEZ and since it had constructed research and development facility, testing track, etc, without prior EC, it had violated the environment norms.     

Maruti on the other hand was of the view that the 2006 notification did not apply on it.

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