Latest News on Aarey Forest: Supreme Court’s special bench has announced the decision regarding the Aarey Forest. The jury has ordered the Maharashtra Govt to “ensure that no trees are further axed at Mumbai’s Aarey Colony.”
Latest News on Aarey Forest: The next hearing will take place on October 21
The efforts of several activists and celebrities have intensified the Aarey Forest Controversy as they raised their voice against the Mumbai Government. The special bench of the Supreme Court including Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Ashok Bhushan has directed the State government to ensure the protection of the Aarey trees. They postponed the case to the next hearing which will take place on October 21, ordered them to maintain the status quo until then.
Students’ Protest Against The MMRCL
It was a direct order from the court as they heard the PIL which was filed by some law students because the govt was cutting a large number of trees without considering the environment and natural balance. The advocate named Tushar Mehta, assured the court that the clients will no more cut trees in the Aarey Colony. He also informed that people who were arrested for the protest have been released and those who are still in custody will be resealed soon. These activists and law students had protested against the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (MMRCL) for felling down the trees in Mumbai, the protest increased in no time as some of the Bollywood Celebrities also joined them to protect the environment.
The court, apart from ordering them to stop till the next hearing, also suggested the advocate that he should include the Ministry of Forest and Environment into the matter. The senior advocate named Sanjay Hegde who represented the law students was the one who sent a letter to the chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and asked him to set a special bench for the matter.
Senior lawyer Gopal Shankarnarayan, however, represented the activists. Justice Arun Mishra, first of all, confirmed if the Aarey Colony is eco-sensitive. The answer to this question was more amusing because there was no assurance if Aarey is a forest or not. According to Gopal Shankarnarayan, the issue related to Aarey is still pending before the Supreme Court. He also mentioned that the same matter is pending before the National Green Tribunal and they still have to decide whether Aarey is an eco-sensitive zone. He submitted a report, “As the matter is pending the authorities should have not gone ahead with the felling of trees.”
Here Is How The Controversy Started
The court received a letter on Sunday and it was sent by a group of law students against the MMRCL who were cutting down the trees at Aarey forest. They had first protested against it but had to file public interest litigation (PIL), when everyone ignored their voice. The student group complaint about the MMRCL as it started cutting down the trees last week as they need to clear the space for development purposes. The protesters had decided to save the trees and first went to the Mumbai High Court. Later, many people joined them and the police had to impose section 144 to ban unlawful assembly.
The protestors are demanding that the MMRCL should relocate the depot and should not cut down further trees. The situation got tense when the police arrested some 84 people for disturbing public order. They were also charged for disrupting the policemen from performing their job. Out of these 84, 29 were sent to five-day judicial custody by the court but the Dindoshi court granted the bail with an order to appear before the court and police station for further inquiry.
The involvement of political parties such as Congress and Shiv Sena has changed its direction as these parties are trying to use the incident as an opportunity to win more votes. The Supreme Court has not taken the final decision as the case will being in the next hearing, which will take place on October 21. For now, the court has asked the govt to ensure they will not cut any more trees.