Mumbai: In a huge relief for Mumbaikars Supreme Court directed the state government to not cut any more trees at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony for a car shed of the Mumbai Metro.
This comes after Mumbai High court dismissed to hear petitions against tree cutting in the Aarey colony.
On Sunday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, on Sunday, constituted a special two-judge bench to take Suo moto cognizance of the case, after a group of students wrote to him, urging him to intervene in the case.
The apex court also lashed out at the Maharashtra government for cutting down the trees and took undertaking for the same. Solicitor General (S-G) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, assured the apex court that no more trees would be cut after this and informed him that whatever was necessary had already been cut down.
It asked the Mumbai Police to release all those arrested for protesting against an ax of trees, if not yet released. The 29 protesters arrested by the police were granted bail on Sunday by a sessions court.
At the hearing, the petitioners argued that the Aarey forest was considered an ‘unclassified forest’ by the state government and that the felling of trees is illegal, to which the SC told the Maharashtra government that ‘if it cannot be done legally, it will not possible. You are doing The ‘apex court also held that this area was once a jungle of some kind.
On the state government’s claim that it had planted 24,000 seeds to replace the ax killing trees, the court asked the government to make a mandatory afforestation report.
The SC finally ordered that the status quo be maintained in the case and the next date for hearing should be fixed on 21 October.