MUMBAI The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday temporarily prohibited implementation of decisions of the tree authority of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) that permitted felling, uprooting or transplanting trees within the limits of the civic body. A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice PN Deshmukh was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane resident Rohit Joshi complaining that the constitution of the tree authority was not in accordance with the provisions of the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection of Trees Act, 1975. The HC said the restraint would continue till the court is satisfied that the tree authority is formed as per the law.The bench said in the meantime, trees within TMC limits can be removed or transplanted only on orders of the municipal commissioner and that too only in emergency situations where removal of a tree becomes necessary to protect life and/or property. The petitioner said that of the six members nominated under section 3(3) of the 1975 enactment, four had either a degree or diploma in agriculture, but the other two were merely commerce graduates – having no special knowledge or practical experience in the field of planning and preservation of trees, as required.The PIL complained about the presence of five invitees to the October 17, 2017 meeting of the tree authority, in which a large number of permissions were granted for removing, cutting, transplanting or relocating trees. Taking note of this, the court, in its December 19, 2017 order, recorded a finding that the constitution of the authority was apparently illegal. The HC also restrained the civic body from acting upon the October 17 resolution of its Tree Authority.