Delhi High Court: In a case wherein a petition was filed to direct Respondent 1 to take immediate steps to prohibit and demolish the illegal and unauthorized construction in Nai Sarak, Delhi, by or at the instance of Respondent 2, Prateek Jalan, J., directed the Tree Officer and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (‘MCD’) to carry out a joint inspection at the site and to take such action as required to ensure the preservation of the banyan tree which was approximately 140-160 years old.
Respondent submitted that a sanction plan for the property was granted but was revoked, and since then the property had been demolished. The Court noted that the only question which remained was regarding preservation of a banyan tree which was stated to have been damaged because of the impugned construction.
The Court further noted that the Tree Officer (Central), Department of Forest & Wildlife, Government of Delhi had filed a status report in which it was stated that an inspection revealed digging of approximately 5 to 6 feet from the ground level which would damage the root system of the tree, construction of a wall which might destabilize the root zone of the tree and large quantities of iron guarders/rods were found unattended at the location and thus, an inspection was carried out by the Government of Delhi and MCD on 30-08-2023.
The Court also noted that the observations of the Forest Department had been complied with at site, however, the platform around the tree had not been removed keeping in view the requirements of support to the tree. The Court thus directed the Tree Officer and MCD to carry out a joint inspection at the site and to take such action as required to ensure the preservation of the tree which was approximately 140-160 years old. The Court also directed the Tree Officer and the Officer concerned of MCD to conduct an inspection at least once in four weeks to ensure that the site was being maintained in a manner conducive to the preservation of the tree.
[Nitin Gupta v. North Delhi Municipal Corpn., 2023 SCC OnLine Del 6948, Order dated 11-10-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioner: Shueta Kapoor, Satya Priya Kamrah, Advocates
For the Respondents: Ajjay Aroraa, Kapil Dutta, SC; Vansh Luthra, Rachita Garg, Mohit Gupta, Vishal Saxena, Taranpreet Singh, Moksh Arora, Advocates; S. Ali, Legal Consultant