The newly appointed External Affairs Minister of the country Salman Khurshid on Thursday dismissed the debate which occurred after the minister stayed in a private resort in the Nilgiris, saying there was nothing illegal about it.
Talking to media, Salman Khurshid said, “There is nothing illegal in staying there. The Supreme Court has already stayed the Madras High Court order of closing down the resort. I don’t know what order the Supreme Court will pass but as long as it stays the High Court order, the private resort is free to operate.”
He added, “There are some persons running a campaign to close down resorts in forest areas there. I have no problem with that.”
He said, “They had approached the High Court, which gave an order supporting their contentions. After the High Court order, the Supreme Court gave a stay. The Supreme Court order categorically says, no dispossession to take place, no demolition to take place.”
Further he said, “The place is licenced. They pay their taxes. Right now this place is legal, legitimate and open. Once the Supreme Court decides it is wrong, then it is wrong. Till then I can’t be dictated by some group or the other that I should not go here or go there.”
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court had ordered number of the resorts in the Bokkapuram forest area be closed as they were located in the elephant corridor, and thereafter all the electric fencing was removed from area, some months back.
On the other hand, the owners have filed a case in the Supreme Court, which had stayed the High Court order.
Now, some of the activities called his stay in the resort as ‘illegal’, citing the High Court order.