Aarey Forests: Supreme Court orders status quo, next hearing on October 21

The Supreme Court on Monday halted the axing of trees in the Aarey Colony of Mumbai.

The court also told the Maharashtra government to maintain status quo until further orders.

It will hear the matter again on October 21.

The order was passed by a Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ashok Bhushan in a letter petition.

However, the Solicitor-General told the court that no more trees need to be cut.

“What’s needed has been cut”, S-G was quoted as saying.

The S-G also informed the court that the Maharashtra government will also plant 20,000 saplings at a place around 4-5 kms away from the Aaray forests.

The court was hearing the matter on a letter that was converted to a PIL submitted by a group of law students on Sunday to hear the matter on urgent basis.

As per reports, a Bench was constituted on Sunday to hear the matter today, though the Supreme Court is currently shut for Dussehra break.

The bench was also informed that 29 activists were also released on Sunday night, who were arrested by the Mumbai Police on Saturday.

The activists were granted bail by Dindoshi court on a cash bond of Rs 7,000 each and asked to appear at the police station for further inquiry.

Meanwhile, it is yet not clear that if the status quo that has been asked to maintain by the SC will affect the development works or not.

Earlier on Friday, the Bombay High Court rejected a bunch of petitions filed by NGOs and activists against the tree felling.

The High Court had dismissed all petitions against the proposed cutting down of over 2,500 trees to make way for a Metro car shed and refused to declare the colony as a forest, in another petition.

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