The Supreme Court today has sought report from Aarey Forest Administration on action taken by it regarding felling of trees and fires during lockdown.
The bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Krishna Murari was hearing a plea regarding the felling of trees in Aarey forest in Mumbai for setting up a car parking for Metro users.
In the previous hearing, the Court had extended the interim order which stayed the felling of trees.
During today’s hearing Senior Advocate Anitha Shenoy appearing for Vanashakti informed the bench that during the lockdown, there were several instances of illegal felling of trees, as well as forest fires. She further informed the bench that FIRs were filed regarding illegal felling of trees, but regarding forest fires it was said that it comes under State Reserve Police Force, and the said authority cannot do anything.
Shenoy urged the Court to take strict action against those who have done illegal action, despite two court orders. She further submitted “CEO of Aarey is cognizant of it but hasn’t taken action.”
Advocate Rahul Chitnis appearing for State of Maharashtra submitted that the petitioner had written directly to the Chief Minister and that they do not have any information on regarding it. He further submitted that if information is provided, the government will take strict action.
The bench has directed the forest administration to place their records within a period of 6 weeks.
-India Legal Bureau