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Aarey Protest LIVE: No More Trees to be Axed in 'Green Lung' as SC Orders Status Quo, Next Hearing on Oct 21

News18.com | October 7, 2019, 11:42 AM IST
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Aarey Protest LIVE: In a victory for green activists, the Supreme Court today ordered status quo in the Aarey tree felling case, ordering the Maharashtra government not to cut down any more trees till the next hearing on October 21. Observing that it “appeared Aarey was a forest at some point of time”, the court asked the state government to submit a status report on the number of trees felled so far and the compulsory afforestation by the Mumbai metro.

The court was hearing petitions by activists who are protesting against the felling of over 2,600 trees in Aarey colony for the construction of a Mumbai Metro car shed.
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Oct 7, 2019 11:42 am (IST)

Actor Rahul Dev says, "Relief until the next hearing ..  SC orders interim stay on felling trees in Aarey Colony."

Oct 7, 2019 11:38 am (IST)

NCP leader Supriya Sule says,"The haste with which the Maharashtra Government acted over the weekend in cutting the trees is condemnable."

Oct 7, 2019 11:37 am (IST)

Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Dhananjay Munde says," The apex court has directed that the tree felling be stopped immediately. This is the victory of all the agitators. This is a travesty of the dictatorship. I believe the final decision will be in favor of 'Aarey'"

Oct 7, 2019 11:32 am (IST)

Congress Spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill says,'“Operation Successful -Patient Dead” Sum & Substance of today’s Supreme Court hearing on #Aarey"

Oct 7, 2019 11:30 am (IST)

Bollywood actress Richa Chadha says, "They’ve cut 2000 trees already, in the middle of the night, while detaining peaceful protestors, activists and adivasis, blocking roads till #Aarey."

Oct 7, 2019 11:28 am (IST)

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit thanks the Supreme Court for ruling in favour of the student activists.

Oct 7, 2019 11:23 am (IST)

Several celebrities had wished the student activists luck before the hearing of the case. "This is highly condemnable. We support these individuals in helping them get justice. The ruling parties cannot brush this aside till the elections are over," said NCP's Supriya Sule. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit had said, "Wishing all the enviornmentalist’s who are fighting to #SaveAarey all the very best for the hearing at #SupremeCourt today. Let’s all together pray for our success in protecting Mother Nature." Shiv Sen leader Aaditya Thackeray said, "May truth and justice prevail for the ecosystem of Aarey!"

Oct 7, 2019 11:01 am (IST)

'Aarey Trees are Greater Than Kashmiri Lives': Mehbooba | PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to say that trees in the Aarey Colony of Mumbai were greater than Kashmiri lives.

Oct 7, 2019 10:51 am (IST)

SC Moved by Young Students: Sanjay Hegde | Sanjay Hegde, who argued for the student activists, tells reporters that the SC was moved by young students. It recorded Solicitor-General's statement that no more trees will be cut in Aarey. No more activities in garb of clearing the area will take place, the S-G assured."We are grateful to the SC for its intervention," he said.

Oct 7, 2019 10:47 am (IST)

'What is the Status of Your Forests?': SC to Maha Govt | The Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra government,"Tell us how many saplings you planted. How have they grown? What's the status of your forests?" The top court's questions come after Mumbai Metro on Sunday claimed that it had planted 24,000 saplings in to replace the trees that have been felled. The SC also asked the state government to produce a compulsory afforestation report.

Oct 7, 2019 10:43 am (IST)

Next Hearing on October 21 | Supreme Court's Forest Bench is set to take up the order on October 21, after asking the Maharashtra government to not cut any more trees, and maintains status quo.

Oct 7, 2019 10:37 am (IST)

SC Dictates Final Order | The Supreme Court in its order says that no more trees should be cut in the colony. The top court also records an undertaking by Maharashtra government assuring that no more trees will be cut in Aarey. The SC also ordered the Mumbai police to release all the activists who were arrested over the past 2 days, if they had not been released yet.

Oct 7, 2019 10:33 am (IST)

SC Observes, Don't Cut Any More Trees | The SC says, "It appears to us that it was some kind of forest at some time", and asks the Maharashtra government to not cut any more trees. The state government assured that it won't cut any more trees either. The SC is likely to order status quo in the matter. "If legally it can't be done, it can't be done by you," the SC tells Maharashtra government.

Oct 7, 2019 10:29 am (IST)

2012 Notif Says Aarey Unclassified Forest | Sankaranarayan, appearing for the activists,says that the 2012 Management plan for Sanjay Gandhi National Park describes Aarey as an unclassified forest. He produces a 2012 notification to the state of Maharashtra that Aarey was a forest.

Oct 7, 2019 10:22 am (IST)

SC Asks Lawyers to For Documents, Not Media Reports | The SC asks lawyers not to cite media reports to argue their case. The bench asks if there is any official notification declaring Aarey to be  an eco-sensitive zone. "Show us that notification," the bench directs. "It was a no development zone but not an eco-sensitive zone.This is what we get. If you say otherwise, show us the documents," the SC tells the lawyers. 

Oct 7, 2019 10:19 am (IST)

Gopal Sankaranarayan Appears for Activists | Senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayan also appears for Aarey activists, and apprises the bench of the facts of the case. Sankaranarayan says wider issues relating to Aarey being a forest or not are pending before the Supreme Court in the 2018 TN Godavarman case. The NGT is also hearing a case that will decide whether Aarey is an eco-sensitive zone, he says.

Oct 7, 2019 10:17 am (IST)

As court proceedings commence, the Supreme Court is apprised that an appeal against Bombay High Court order has also been filed before the top court. Advocate Vineet Dhanda also mentioned his petition on Aarey, saying that he had filed it on September 3. 

Oct 7, 2019 10:11 am (IST)

SC Hearing Begins, Tushar Mehta, Sanjay Hegde to Argue | The Supreme Court's special bench is currently hearing the PIL, which was submitted as a letter by law students. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is appearing for the Maharashtra Government, Sanjay Hegde for the students and advocate Maninder Singh Mumbai Metro.

Oct 7, 2019 10:06 am (IST)

29 Protesters Held in Thane Jail Released | The 29 protesters who were arrested and held in Thane jail were released. Here are visuals of them celebrating after the release.

Oct 7, 2019 9:56 am (IST)

SC Hearing to Begin Shortly | A Special Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan to begin hearing in the PIL against felling of trees in Mumbai's Aarey Colony shortly, Bar and Bench reported. The special bench was constituted after the SC on Sunday converted a letter by Noida law students into a Public Interest Litigation.

Oct 7, 2019 9:48 am (IST)

Ex-MP and Congress leader Priya Dutt hits out at the ruling BJP government.

Oct 7, 2019 9:45 am (IST)

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit supports activists protesting against feeling of trees in Aarey, says, "genocide has been committed by the  Govt. Of Maharashtra."

Oct 7, 2019 9:14 am (IST)

The row over Aarey caused a political stir when the protests took place, with the opposition criticising the ruling BJP government for the move. Shiv Sena leaders Aaditya and Uddhav Thackeray had come out in support of the protesters, as several other members of the party participated in the protests. Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi was detained. NCP leadeer Nawab Malik took a shot at Aaditya Thackeray, saying, "Where were fake environment lovers, who championed ban on plastic, when the tree felling started?" Supriya Sule also called out the state government for cutting down trees in the dead of the night. The governemnt, on the other hand, defended the move with CM Devendra Fadnavis promising to replaced the trees that are cut. Prakash Javadekar also made a similar promise.

Oct 7, 2019 9:05 am (IST)

Section 144 Reimposed in Aarey | Section 144 of the IPC was reimposed in the Aarey Colony of Mumbai after prohibitory orders were relaxed for a short while amid protests against the felling of trees to build a car shed for the Mumbai metro. Several people including Shiv Sena leaders and Prakash Ambedkar were detained, while 29 others arrested during the protests for assaulting the police personnel on duty. On Saturday, the Mumbai police kept a strict vigil on the roads leading to Aarey colony, only allowing residents and schoolbuses to pass and enter the area.

Oct 7, 2019 8:58 am (IST)

Twitter Users React to Protests in Aarey | A large number of people came out in support of activists protesting in Aarey colony against the felling of trees. Several celebrities were among those who spoke out against the clearing of the green patch in Aarey. Bollywood actors like Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza, Alia Bhatt, Swara Bhasker, Varun Dhawan and many more extended their support to the protesters.

Oct 7, 2019 8:43 am (IST)

Aarey Protests So Far | Activists began protesting in Aarey Colony of Mumbai on Saturday after the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of the Mumbai Metro and allowing it to clear close to 2,500 trees for a car shed for the Mumbai metro, stating that the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. The MMRCL started to lop down trees only hours after the High Court order, and drew the contempt of environmental activists and citizens. As many as 29 people were arrested by the Mumbai police during the protests on charges of allegedly obstructing and assaulting police personnel, who were later granted conditional bail. A few Siv Sena leaders and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar were also detained.

Oct 7, 2019 8:35 am (IST)

Police detained Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar on Sunday when he tried to enter the Aarey Colony here in support of activists who are protesting against the cutting of trees in the area. He said that the Maharashtra government was using "muscle power" to silence those raising voice against tree felling. Later he told reporters, "The green cover at Aarey Colony helps in the purification of air, the same way as fresh breeze coming from the Arabian Sea helps in keeping Mumbai air clean."

Oct 7, 2019 8:29 am (IST)

A sessions court granted bail to 29 protesters arrested over the last  two days on charges of allegedly obstructing and assaulting police personnel on duty during protests against felling of trees at Aarey Colony. They were asked to produce a personal surety of Rs 7,000 and assurance that they would not take part in protests. However, the protesters are unlikely to walk out of the Thane jail, where most of them are currently lodged, pending completion of the legal procedure and other formalities.

Oct 7, 2019 8:21 am (IST)

MMRCL MD Justifies Felling of Trees | Ashwini Bhide, the MD of MMRCL, tweeted on her official twitter handle, justifying the felling of trees in Aarey colony by saying that destruction was necessary to pave the way for new life and creation. Her tweet came only hours after the MMRCL claimed to have planted 24,000 trees to make up for the destruction of the Aarey green patch.

Oct 7, 2019 8:09 am (IST)

Mumbai Metro Claims it Planted Trees | Facing flak from green activists for felling trees in part of Aarey Colony for a metro car shed, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) on Sunday posted a video claiming it had planted 24,000 trees across the city. 

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Aarey Protest LIVE: No More Trees to be Axed in 'Green Lung' as SC Orders Status Quo, Next Hearing on Oct 21

A group of law students of a Noida-based college had on Sunday approached Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, seeking the court’s immediate intervention to stop felling of trees in Mumbai.

The letter sent to the CJI by Rishav Ranjan on behalf a student delegation on Sunday comes two days after the Bombay High Court refused to declare Aarey Colony a forest and declined to quash the Mumbai municipal corporation's decision to allow felling of over 2,600 trees in the green zone to set up a metro car shed.

The Bombay HC had on Friday rejected a plea against the axing of trees, and the BMC had soon after started chopping trees down under the cover of darkness, leading to massive protests. A group of activists who protested against the decision were detained and arrested by the police.

Celebrities, politicians — including the BJP's Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena — also slammed the government for the move.

Under fire over the decision to destroy what is popularly known as Mumbai’s ‘green lung’, Mumbai Metro chief Ashwini Bhide on Sunday termed the move “inevitable”. Taking to Twitter, Bhide said: "Sometimes to construct something new destruction becomes inevitable but it also paves the way for new life and new creation.”
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