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Current Affairs

Supreme Court judgments on protection of forest land

Date: 29 October 2021 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments

Issue

An affidavit filed by the Haryana government in Supreme Court says that all the areas covered under Punjab Land Preservation Act cannot be considered as a “forest land”. 

 

Background

The state says that 40 percent of its area falls under forest land and following the instructions would result in demolition of all structures.

 

Details

  • The government was responding to a 2018 judgment of Supreme Court on Faridabad Kant Enclave demolition case.

  • The state has expressed inability to follow the verdict as it would result in unparalleled law and order problems.

 

Reasons for filing affidavit

  • All areas notified under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the PLP Act are forest land, according to Supreme Court verdicts in 2002, 2018 and 2021.

  • Structures constructed on such lands that come under the provisions of the PLP Act are considered illegal and have to be demolished.

  • The court had asked the Haryana government to file an affidavit based on a case filed by Satpal and Others versus Union of India.

 

Response of the government

  • The state says that about 39.35 per cent of the total geographical area of the State has been notified under Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation (PLPA) Act.

  • About 100 percent of the area under 11 districts gets classified as “forest land” going by the definition under the PLPA Act.

 

Challenge faced by government

  • The legislative assembly had passed an amendment to PLPA and removed certain lands meant for construction from the ambit of PLPA notification. 

  • The Supreme Court prevented the Haryana government from taking any action regarding the PLPA (Amendment) Act, 2019.