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  Metros   Kolkata  02 Mar 2019  SC puts brakes on Haryana law allowing buildings in Aravallis

SC puts brakes on Haryana law allowing buildings in Aravallis

THE ASIAN AGE. | J. VENKATESAN
Published : Mar 2, 2019, 2:38 am IST
Updated : Mar 2, 2019, 2:38 am IST

Bench questions motive behind amendment to 119-year-old green Act.

The Haryana Assembly on Wednesday had passed an amendment to the Act opening thousands of acres of land under Aravallis for real estate development and mining.
 The Haryana Assembly on Wednesday had passed an amendment to the Act opening thousands of acres of land under Aravallis for real estate development and mining.

New Delhi: Observing that legislature is not supreme, the Supreme Court on Friday restrained the Haryana government from implementing a law to allow thousands of acres of land for real estate development and other non-forest activities in the Aravalli forests.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra questioned the bona fides of the Haryana government for bringing in amendments to the 119-year-old Punjab Land Preservation Act to allow such construction activity in the Aravalli hills. The Act was introduced before partition by the then Punjab government in 1900. The law provided for the conservation of subsoil water and prevention of erosion in areas found to be subject to erosion or likely to become liable to erosion.

 

Justice Mishra told the counsel for Haryana: “Do you (the Haryana government) think you are supreme? We will not allow such kind of misadventure. You are not above the law. Legislature is not supreme. At times court also has to prevail.

“It is really shocking that you are trying to destroy the forests. We knew that Haryana government will do this  favour to builders and to destroy forests and that is why we had warned you earlier but it’s shocking that you went ahead despite our warning.”

Upset at the Haryana Assembly’s effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s ban on construction, the top court said: “It was sheer contempt of court. We want to say a lot of things, but cannot”.

 

The Haryana Assembly on Wednesday had passed an amendment to the Act opening thousands of acres of land under Aravalli and Shivalik ranges for real estate development and mining, which could be a major threat to the environment and ecology.

The amendment to the Act will have a huge impact on the protected Aravalli forests in National Capital Region (NCR). It was alleged that the move “reeked of a multi-crore scam” and the amendment would take out the protected forest areas and ecological preserves of the Act’s ambit.

It was pointed out that Haryana has less than seven per cent forest cover and the Aravallis help in maintaining ecology in the NCR as well as Delhi.

 

Further, it was said that the legal amendment would give sanction to the unauthorised constructions that came up since 1966 as the new law will come into force with retrospective effect.

Bullet points

Upset at the Haryana Assembly’s effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s ban on construction, the top court said: “It was sheer contempt of court. We want to say a lot of things, but cannot”.

The Haryana Assembly on Wednesday had passed an amendment to the Act opening thousands of acres of land under Aravalli and Shivalik ranges for real estate development and mining.

Tags: supreme court, legislature, national capital region (ncr)