Total Gurugram should be demolished: Haryana govt on ‘forest’ land


Each constructing in 11 districts of Haryana, together with Gurugram and Faridabad, should be demolished if the authorities had been to take away all constructions from “forest land” as outlined and mandated by a 2018 Supreme Court docket judgment, the state authorities stated on Friday, cautioning that such an train may create a “severe and unparalleled law-and-order drawback”.

Expressing its incapacity to implement a July order by the highest court docket to raze constructions from forest land, the Manohar Lal Khattar-government stated that “the duty is past its capability” as a result of practically 40% of land within the state is taken into account forest land within the phrases of the Supreme Court docket’s 2018 judgment.

Due to this fact, finishing up this train, the state stated, will result in a mammoth demolition of buildings, colleges, faculties, authorities workplaces and residential buildings in 11 districts, which incorporates all of Gurugram and Faridabad.

On July 23, a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari, directed the Haryana authorities to make sure that all unauthorised constructions standing on Aravali forest land needs to be cleared. “Our course to take away all constructions on forest land applies to all constructions with none exception,” acknowledged the directive.

Abiding with this course, state authorities demolished the slum colony of Khori Gaon, and issued show-cause notices to house owners of 129 farmhouses, banquet halls, colleges, spiritual establishments, and business constructions.

A number of amongst these 129 house owners claimed that their properties fell outdoors forest space, however the state forest division dismissed the objection on the bottom that these lands had been notified beneath the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900, and needed to be thought-about forest land. The choice of the forest division was based mostly on the September 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court docket which declared that land falling beneath PLPA was to be handled as forest land. It was on this reasoning that the highest court docket in 2018 ordered the demolition of all buildings in Kant Enclave, a residential colony in Faridabad.

Submitting its affidavit, the state on Thursday contended that each one land beneath PLPA can’t be handled as “forest land”, taking a stand totally different from what it informed the court docket in 2018.

The state stated {that a} whole of 1,739,907 hectares of land within the state has been notified beneath PLPA, and this accounts for 39.35% of the geographical space in the complete state, together with the entire of 11 districts – Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal, Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Rewari, Bhiwani, Charki Dadri, Mahendergarh, and Mewat.

It additional acknowledged: “When it comes to the September 2018 resolution and July 23 order, all areas notified beneath Sections 3,4,5 of PLPA are forest land. The land included beneath PLPA consists of each authorities and personal land and constructions which have come up on these lands embrace colleges, faculties, hospitals, police stations, roads, transmission traces, authorities buildings, defence institutions, infrastructure and residential homes.”

The affidavit added: “The demolition required is on a large scale and past the capability of the state authorities and is certain to create severe and unparalleled legislation and order drawback… Moreover, it raises a really pertinent concern relating to constitutional rights of the folks to such land, notably the place building have been undertaken after taking requisite approvals in accordance with legislation.”

The state knowledgeable the court docket that it has declared forest land beneath the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and this covers over 1.46 lakh hectare, accounting for about 4% of the state’s territory.

Within the 2018 Kant Enclave case, the Supreme Court docket stated in its judgment: “We’ve got little doubt that land notified by Haryana beneath provisions of PLPA have to be handled as ‘forest’ and ‘forest land’ and has actually been so handled for a number of a long time by the state of Haryana. There isn’t any cause to alter or alter the factual or authorized place.” The court docket positioned reliance on an affidavit filed by the state authorities treating PLPA land as forest land.

In its newest affidavit, although, the state took a stand that land notified beneath PLPA was for the aim of conserving and restoring erosion of soil, and was relevant for a restricted interval and never in perpetuity. Throughout this era, when the notification is in power, there may be prohibition of specified non-forest actions and that prohibition ceases as soon as the notification expires, it defined.

“Intention of PLPA has by no means been to create or convert notified land into forest land in any method. The closure or prohibition which is sought to be enforced as a short lived measure solely as a measure to control, prohibit or prohibit sure actions throughout the interval of such closure which is lifted upon the expiry of the stated interval,” the state forest division’s affidavit stated.

In the course of the proceedings on Friday, Solicitor Common Tushar Mehta, showing for the state, argued that the 2018 judgment of the court docket has gone “barely mistaken”.

The bench, nonetheless, requested Mehta: “Is that this argument now out there to you after the 2018 judgment? This judgment (Kant Enclave matter) was the ultimate phrase on this, until you might be asking us to set it apart.”

Legal professionals showing for Khori Gaon residents and house owners of properties served with show-cause notices sought time to file response to state’s affidavit. The court docket posted the matter for listening to on November 15.

The Haryana authorities’s affidavit talked about that, in 2014, the state authorities approached the Supreme Court docket within the MC Mehta batch of instances the place the Court docket was contemplating safety of Aravali forest land. The state moved an utility searching for clarification that land notified beneath expired notifications or orders handed beneath Part 4, 5 of PLPA shouldn’t be handled as forest. This plea continues to be pending consideration of the highest court docket.

In February 2019, following the Kant Enclave judgment, the Haryana meeting handed an modification to PLPA by excluding sure land out of the ambit of PLPA notification for functions of building. However this legislation was stalled by the Supreme Court docket, on March 1, 2019, and seen as an try to override its choices to guard forest land. “No motion is to be taken by the Haryana authorities in furtherance of the the PLPA (Modification) Act, 2019,” the court docket stated on the time, and the matter can be pending earlier than it.


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