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Representative Image (Photo/ANI)
Representative Image (Photo/ANI)

Delhi HC issues notice to Delhi government over petition against illegal felling of trees

ANI | Updated: Aug 25, 2022 23:21 IST

Delhi [India], August 25 (ANI): The Delhi High court on Thursday issued notice to Delhi Government and others on a plea seeking direction for initiating a training mechanism and laying down a standard operating procedure (SOP) for hearing of the complaint related to violation of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.
This petition has been moved by Senior counsel Rajeev Dutta against the illegal felling of Neem Tree on June 6, 2022, in front of the house of the petitioner on public land in New Delhi South Extension-1. He submitted that nothing has been done by the Tree Officer on his complaint since June 6, 2022. The tree was planted by him in 2013.
Justice Yashwant Varma issued notice to Delhi Government and other respondents. The court also directed to take cognizance of the complaint filed by the petitioner on June 6, 2022. The court has listed January 25, 2023, for further hearing.
The petitioner Senior Counsel Rajeev Dutta has moved a petition through advocate Aditya N. Prasad. The petition is concerning the illegal felling of trees by a vehicle on June 6, 2022. The petitioner has submitted that the issue is related to his right to clean air given under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
The petition stated that the petitioner on June 6, 2022, received information from one of his neighbours that the aforesaid Neem Tree had been felled by a vehicle ferrying construction and demolition waste from a plot under construction nearby. The Petitioner reached the site and found that the felled Tree had been cut into pieces and whisked away by unknown people.

The Petitioner submitted that a Complaint was made to Tree Officer/DCF (SOUTH) on the same day as the incident.
It was informed over Whatsapp by the Officer that an Inspection had been carried out and Notice would be sent. However, no information or notice of any kind was received by the Petitioner.
The Petitioner thrice enquired with the Tree Officer on June 15, 2022, then on June 20, 2022, and July 01, 2022, about the action being taken in furtherance of his complaint, but received no response.
The petitioner has sought for issuance of direction to the Delhi Government to give appropriate directions to the Tree Officers under Section 33 of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 and lay down SOP/Guidelines/directions regarding the procedure for conducting hearings/proceedings/investigation by the concerned officers for the offences/violations under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.
Secondly, the petitioner has also sought direction from the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Delhi Government to initiate a training mechanism on the provisions of the Act and basic principles of administrative law for all Tree Officers and their subordinates in a regular and systematic manner. (ANI)