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No HC relief for civic body, MMRC, activist

While the BMC sought permission for the functioning of a newly- constituted tree authority, the MMRCL sought permission to start felling 3,000 trees.

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2019 05:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
MMRC,activist,civic body
Bhathena sought to point out the violation of court orders by MMRCL. The court, however, refused to pass orders and asked the BMC, MMRCL and Bhathena to file their replies and posted the matter for hearing on May 20. (HT Photo)

Bombay high court on Wednesday did not provide any relief to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) or activist Zoru Bhathena regarding notices of motion filed by each one of them over the felling of trees in Aarey Colony for the Metro-3 car shed.

While the BMC sought permission for the functioning of a newly- constituted tree authority, the MMRCL sought permission to start felling 3,000 trees. Bhathena sought to point out the violation of court orders by MMRCL. The court, however, refused to pass orders and asked the BMC, MMRCL and Bhathena to file their replies and posted the matter for hearing on May 20.

A vacation bench of justices AS Gadkari and NJ Jamadar was informed by the BMC counsel that there was an urgent need to allow the newly-constituted authority, comprising four experts, to start functioning as the fate of the trees in Hindmata junction was to be decided ahead of the drain work to be undertaken there.

However, the BMC motion was opposed by Bhathena, stating that the authority did not conform with HC directions stipulating that the number of experts should be in proportion to the number of corporators.

Secondly, Bhathena also informed the court about directions by a previous bench with regards to emergencies when trees needed to be cut immediately. The court had pointed out that the municipal commissioner had the powers to take a decision on the same.

Bhathena then pointed to the fact that MMRCL had been felling trees in Aarey on the sly, despite an HC order restraining them from doing so. The MMRCL counsel submitted a letter, which was purported to be a deemed permission to cut trees. The counsel said as the permission sought in June 2018 had not been responded to by the authorities, after a passage of time it would be deemed to have been granted. However, the court said that it would not be in a position to pass orders as it did not have the relevant papers and did not want to pass orders.

First Published: May 16, 2019 05:52 IST