The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a plea challenging the cutting of trees in Mumbai’s Aarey colony for a Metro car shed. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant said it would take up the plea after senior advocate Gopal Shankarnarayan mentioned the matter. Shankarnarayan said cutting of trees is going on overnight despite the stay order earlier.
”We have photographs. The CJI said it will be heard by this bench. Can it be listed tomorrow?” Shankarnarayan said, adding JCBs would be operated over the weekend and the matter requires urgent hearing. The top court then agreed to hear the matter on Friday.
The apex court in 2019 had taken suo motu (on its own) cognisance of a letter petition addressed to the Chief Justice of India by law student Rishav Ranjan seeking a stay on felling of trees in the colony.
The apex court had restrained authorities from cutting any more trees in Aarey colony after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had submitted on behalf of the State of Maharashtra that no further trees will be cut. The felling of trees in the colony has been opposed by green activists and local residents.