Dismissing a bunch of petitions of Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and its sister concern the Punjab and Haryana high court expressed that "prima facie" it stands proven on record that the builders had committed "indicated offences" of degrading Aravali hills by coming up with a township on about 1,200 acres land in village Raisina of Gurgaon against the rules.
The inspection committee examining the case had reported that the builders had developed infrastructure for the cluster of 630 farm houses by the name of 'Aravali Retreat', out of which 108 had been constructed and allotted in violation Aravali notification, 1992 by laying roads, water supply, electricity, berms, barbed wires, fencing and separate gates.
Hearing the petitions, the court of justice Mehinder Singh Sullar directed the builders to appear before the special environment trial court, Haryana with the directions to the trial court to take all the effective steps as per law. The bench further added that the trial court may even conduct day to day proceedings for expeditious disposal of all the complaints since the case was very old.
The bench was informed that the developers had started work on the project in around 1988-89.
The builders, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and Ansals Housing and Construction had approached the high court quashing the special environment trial court's summoning orders dated August 14, 2007 which were issued on the complaint of Haryana pollution control board(HPCB) and also all other proceedings in the case.
The court was informed by the HPCB that the builders had totally changed the nature of "Gairmumkin Mountain (Pahad)", carved out individual farm houses in complete violation of the provisions of the Act of 1986 and sold the same to the subsequent vendees after the commencement of the notification dated May 7, 1992 and without applying for and obtaining the prior required sanction and environment clearance.
"If the petitioners-accused(developers) have not stopped the pointed violations, adversely affecting the environmental atmosphere and the criminal prosecutions are quashed at this initial stage, then it will inculcate and perpetuate injustice to the public at large in general and to the case of complainant-Pollution Board in particular respectively," said justice Sullar.
However, the court also mentioned that nothing observed during the hearing of the case in the high court would reflect, in any manner, on merits, during the trials of the main complaints.