Mumbai

HC refuses to stay tree cutting at Aarey

Out of bounds: Fearing widespread protests, the Mumbai Police have barricaded all entry points to the Metro car shed site at Aarey, where tree felling began on Friday night.

Out of bounds: Fearing widespread protests, the Mumbai Police have barricaded all entry points to the Metro car shed site at Aarey, where tree felling began on Friday night.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Court says can’t proceed on oral understanding cited by petitioners

The Bombay High Court on Saturday refused to stay the cutting of 2,646 trees at Aarey colony by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) to make way for a car shed for Metro 3.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog dismissed all petitions concerning Aarey, including one against the civic Tree Authority’s permission to the cut the trees, on Friday.

On Saturday, local resident Zoru Bhathena, through advocate Pushpa Thapa, and NGO Vanshakti, through advocate Zaman Ali, made a request in the chamber of a Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and A.K. Menon to stop the tree felling.

Oral rejection

Their subsequent application to the court for a stay referred to their oral request that no trees should be cut till the parties moved the Supreme Court, which was orally rejected.

Advocate Sonal, also appearing on behalf of Mr. Bhathena, told the court that after the judgment was pronounced, the Bench headed by Chief Justice Nandrajog expected the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) not to go ahead and cut the trees. That expectation is belied by the ground level situation and trees are being cut since Friday evening.

She said the BMC should, therefore, be restrained from cutting the trees until the parties move the Supreme Court for appropriate relief. As the apex court is on vacation for Dussehra till October 14, the restraint order should be passed until then, she said.

Advocate Akshay Shinde, appearing for the MMRCL, told the court it was not proper to refer to any oral understanding in the court, for that is neither reflected in the judgment and order nor is it on the record.

The court said, “Once all the substantive proceedings are dismissed, it would not be proper to pass any restraint order and merely on a praecipe (application). There is nothing on record to show that any request was made to stay the operation, implementation and enforcement of the judgment and order, nor any specific restraint was sought. We cannot proceed on any oral understanding,” the court noted.

HC refuses to stay tree cutting at Aarey

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:36:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hc-refuses-to-stay-tree-cutting-at-aarey/article29607085.ece

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