Landmark case in India’s hills to decide whether to protect hills

By JAYN BAIHANI and SHAKTA HUTTANKIABENGAAThe land dispute between a developer and a hill community in western Maharashtra is set to go to the Supreme Court after the High Court on Monday refused to hear a petition filed by the developer’s lawyer.

The case is set for hearing on March 6, after the Supreme Bench on February 12 refused to give the developer a chance to file its case.

The developer, N.N. Raghavendra, was represented by a lawyer from Maharashtra’s ruling BJP, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The judge in the case said it was the “duty” of the High Courts to hear the case.

“The matter is in the public domain.

The court cannot interfere,” Justice R.M. Bhattacharya said.

The Supreme Court had said it had jurisdiction to hear and decide the case in the first instance.