Writ Petition No.WP (C) 976/2014
Preventing the export of logs of red sandalwood
The intervention of the Supreme Court was sought in November 2014 to foil a determined bid by the Government of Andhra Pradesh to export a huge quantity of confiscated red sandalwood, an endangered species, in the form of round logs fancied by international traders. This move flies in the face of international conventions, express provisions of the Import-Export Policy and repeated admonitions of the Ministry of Environment & Forests. It also runs counter to a commitment made by the DGTD in the High Court of Madras.
The Government of India has done a complete volte face and actively collaborated with the State government. The auction lot is far in excess of the State government’s own estimates of the global annual demand.
In response to the notice issued by the Forest Bench, the Government of Andhra Pradesh filed its counter. We have filed our rejoinder refuting the averments made therein.
Pleadings in the matter were completed on August 22, 2016. Despite an undertaking before the Apex Court, the Union of India (Ministry of Environment and Forests) did not file its vakalatnama and counter affidavit. Respondent No.2, Department of Commerce, too failed to do so despite directions from the Court in May and August 2016. Declining to grant them further opportunities, the Court directed the Registry to process the matter for listing as per rules. On November 23, 2016 the matter was taken up by the Court and posted for December 15, 2016 as it did not receive the files and hence could not hear the matter. The matter is likely to next be listed on December 15, 2017.