New Delhi, Jul 3 - The Supreme Court has banned all kinds of commercial and tourism activities within five kilometre radius around the Jarawa Tribal Reserve in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya upheld the notification to declare an area upto five kilometre radius around the Tribal Reserve as 'Buffer Zone' and prohibit entry of any person other than a member of aboriginal tribe into it.
"We, therefore, direct that henceforth no commercial and tourism-related activities shall be carried out by the administration or any private individual in violation of the prohibition contained in notification," the bench said.
Sending a stern message to the authorities to implement the order, the bench said that the government officials will face contempt proceedings in case of violation of the prohibitory order.
"It shall be the duty of the Principal Secretary (Tribal Welfare) and other officers of the Administration of Andaman and Nicobar to ensure total compliance of the prohibition contained in notification and this order. Any breach of this order will entail punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971," it said yesterday.
The apex court refused the plea of the Administration that certain tourism and commercial activities be allowed till competent authority took A decision on the issue of allowing activities within the Buffer Zone.
"In our view, the prohibition contained in the notification and order passed by Tehsildar, Ferrargunj is unconditional. Therefore, till the notification is rescinded or amended, no commercial or tourism-related activity can be allowed within the Reserved Area or the Buffer Zone," the bench said.
The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Andaman and Nicobar administration challenging Calcutta High Court's order which had quashed the notification for creating Buffer Bone for the tribals. PTI