Supreme Court judgments on protection of forest landDate: 29 October 2021 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments
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”.
The state says that 40 percent of its area falls under forest land and following the instructions would result in demolition of all structures.
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.