Consider reconstituting tree committee: HC to TMC

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and P N Deshmukh were hearing a public interest litigation.

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 01:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
HC,Bombay High Court,TMC
The court has asked TMC to consider the opinion of experts on the cutting down of trees. (HT FILE)

The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Thane Municipal Corporation to consider reconstituting its Tree Authority Committee, appointing experts on the body which decides if cutting a tree should be allowed or not. The high court had last month restrained the committee from passing any orders, observing that it appeared that its members were not applying mind while giving permissions to cut trees.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and P N Deshmukh was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane resident Rohan Joshi, who claimed that corporators and other members of the committee are not qualified enough. The court on Thursday asked Ram Apte, TMC lawyer, to consider dissolving the present committee.

“Why cannot the tree authority committee be reconstituted with experts? This will put an end to the entire controversy. The corporation should consider this seriously. Follow provisions of the law and see to it that experts from concerned fields are also appointed to the committee,” Justice Oka said.

Courts should not be interfering in such matters but the civic body’s approach forces the court to interfere, the court said, adjourning the hearing to next week. According to the petitioner, only three members of the committee are graduates in science, botany or agriculture. Others have low educational qualification but enjoy political patronage, he said.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 01:15 IST