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Aravali: Demolition of illegal structure to continue, observes SC; civic body says farmhouses razed

New Delhi, August 23

The Supreme Court on Monday said that demolition of all unauthorised structures standing on Aravali forest land in Faridabad’s Khori village has to continue, even as the municipal corporation informed it that some farmhouses have already been razed there.

The apex court, while hearing an application filed by owners of some marriage halls which have received notices from the civic body, said that Faridabad Municipal Corporation has to proceed and demolish the unauthorised structures as per law.

A bench comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said as per previous order of the apex court, the intervenors are supposed to make representation to the concerned authority which will consider them.

“Let the corporation decide on your representation and after that is decided, we will consider what course of action can be adopted. Today, all unauthorised structures are being demolished and that has to continue,” the bench told the counsel appearing for the owners of some marriage halls.

The counsel appearing for the municipal corporation told the bench that they have filed a compliance report in the matter on Monday and as far as representation is concerned, there is already a direction by the court and the authority will consider it in accordance with law.

“We have already demolished few farm houses,” the lawyer appearing for the civic body said.

When the bench said it would hear the matter after two weeks, the counsel appearing for marriage hall owners submitted that in the meantime, the authority should not demolish their structures while they consider their representation.

The bench told the counsel that they can make representations and the authority will consider it.

“If it is unauthorised, it has to be demolished as per the present law and legal position. The corporation has to proceed. Let them proceed,” the bench observed and posted the matter for hearing on September 6.

The apex court had on August 3 said all unauthorised structures on Aravali forest land in Khori village will have to go as its order passed in the matter regarding demolition of such buildings was “very clear”.

On July 23, the top court had granted four more weeks to the municipal corporation to remove encroachments on the Aravali forest land, after the civic body had said unauthorised structures on nearly half of the total 150 acre area has been cleared.

The bench was last month informed that the municipal corporation has undertaken a planned drive to remove unauthorised constructions and so far, 74 acres out of 150 acres was cleared and back in the possession of the civic body.

On June 7, the top court had directed state of Haryana and Faridabad municipal corporation to remove “all encroachments”, consisting around 10,000 residential constructions, in Aravali forest area near the village, saying “land grabbers cannot take refuge of rule of law” and talk of “fairness”.

It had passed the June 7 order after hearing a separate plea filed by five alleged encroachers against the demolition drive of civic body. PTI

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