The Supreme Court on Friday criticised the Haryana government for passing amendments to an act that allows construction in Aravalli hills, PTI reported.
A top court bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta asked the state to not take any action on Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Act, 2019, and said it was shocking that the state government had taken such a step despite being told by the Supreme Court not to do so.
“It is really shocking,” the bench said, according to ANI. “You are destroying the forest. It is not permissible. You are not supreme and supreme is the rule of law.”
The Haryana Assembly on Wednesday passed the amendments to the law which opened thousands of acres of land to real estate and non-forest activity that were earlier protected as forest land, The Times of India reported. Chief Minister ML Khattar had said the amendments were the “need of the hour” as it was a “very old”.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Haryana government to demolish illegal constructions in forest areas of Aravalli hills.
In January, the Supreme Court extended till July 31 the deadline for 33 house owners in Faridabad’s Kant enclave, whose buildings were ordered to be demolished, to vacate their premises if they file an undertaking that they would vacate the properties by then. On September 11, 2018, the Supreme Court had said that the illegal construction in the forest area had caused “irreversible damage” to the Aravalli hills.