Parties to maintain status quo in Bombay Forest Land

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) In a major relief to lakhs of people living in the flats constructed in Bombay Forest Reserve Area, the Supreme Court today directed the parties to maintain status quo till further orders.

There have been large scale constructions in the green belt area spread over approximately 1000 acres and a large number of flats and buildings have been contructed illegally by the builders in connivance with the authorities.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice M K Sharma fixed August 22 for the next hearing.

Bombay High Court had earlier directed the demolition of around 34 buildings constructed in the green belt, where no construction is permitted.

The apex court made it clear that there will be no fresh constructions or demolitions till further orders.

Thousands of flats are under-contruction in the Forest Reserve Area of Bombay.

Earlier Senior counsel F S Nariman appearing for the petitioner, contended before the court that there were large scale constructions in the area.

The apex court also clarified that no third party interest will be created. According to the provisions of Forest Conservation Act, all constructions in the Forest Reserve Area are illegal and the builders are in fact encroachers on Government land.

Counsel for the respondants however contended that most of the buildings are outside the forest area and the High Court has failed to appreciate the fact that the builders have made huge investments in the construction of the buildings.

UNI SC RSA MIR KP1326

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