New Delhi, 07 Oct 2019: Supreme Court special bench on Sunday directed the Maharashtra government stop tree-cutting in Mumbai’s Aarey forest area.
The top court bench also said Maharasthra police to release all arrested activists immediately. The apex court verdict was based on a by law student Rishav Ranjan seeking a stay on the cutting of trees. On Sunday, the Supreme Court set up a special bench to hear petitions challenging the felling of trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony which triggered a massive protest over the weekend in Mumbai. A special bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan said it will have to examine the entire thing and posted the matter for hearing on October 21 before its forest bench.
Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court it has already cut the trees required."Don't cut anything now," the SC bench said. The Supreme Court has also asked the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit on the status of the saplings planted.
A contention in the Aarey debate has been whether the area is officially designated as a "forest". Now, the SC has said it will examine if the area is part of the eco-sensitive zone or not. The top court also said if anybody is still under arrest, they should be released forthwith on the furnishing of personal bonds.