Police personnel patrol at Khori village after Supreme Court
directed removal of encroachments in the Aravali forest land in Faridabad district on Thursday. (PTI)
NEW DELHI :
THE Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay its order directing Haryana and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove encroachments, consisting of around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near Khori village, saying, “we want our forest land to be cleared”. A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari asked the State and the civic body to comply with its June 7 direction in this regard. “We want our forest land to be cleared. We have given enough time, if you want to continue it is at your risk. This is forest land and not any other land,” the bench said. The top court was hearing a plea seeking stay on the demolition of residential structures in the village. Advocate Aparna Bhat, representing a petitioner, argued that even as the hearing proceeds, forceful eviction was taking place. The bench replied, “Yes let them do it.”
Bhat contended that at least a temporary shelter should be provided for the children who will be evicted during the pandemic. The bench said it is up to the Haryana Government to examine the issue. The top court said in its opinion, no indulgence is required to be shown by it at this stage and permitted the petitioners to produce documents at the municipal corporation concerned. The bench emphasised that people had enough opportunity to vacate the forest land after February 2020. The bench noted that petitioners were obligated to provide documents to come under the rehabilitation scheme, which they have failed to do.
“We have recorded the submission that clearance of unlawful encroachment on forest land will be carried out as per due process of law,” observed the bench. Haryana Government submitted that encroachers are throwing stones on officials, the bench that no order was required and the authorities “knew what to do”. The bench reiterated that the pendency of the proceedings in the court will not come in the way of clearing the encroachments. The apex court on June 7 had directed the State Government and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to remove “all encroachments” in Aravali forest area near the village, saying “land grabbers cannot take refuge of rule of law” and talk of “fairness”. It had also sought compliance report from State Government officials after removing all encroachments from the forest land near Lakarpur Khori village in Faridabad district within six weeks.