The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that the land on which Kant Enclave was developed in Faridabad is a forest area and ordered the demolition of all constructions carried out on it after August 18, 1992. During the hearing, the bench, comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta slammed R Kant & Co, that carried out construction and Haryana Town & Country Planning Department for granting the permission. It said that the the action by them led to “irreversible” damage to the Aravalli hills.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the court said the construction activity carried out by the applicant R Kant & Co is clearly in violation of the notification dated August18, 1992 and in blatant defiance of orders passed by this court from time to time. It stated that it is unfortunate that the Town & Country Planning Department of the State of Haryana has been supporting the illegalities of the applicant despite strong resistance from the Forest Department of the state.
“There is no doubt that at the end of the day, the State of Haryana comes out in very poor light and must be held accountable for its conflicting and self-destructive stand taken in spite of affidavits filed by the Chief Secretary of the State from time to time supporting the Forest Department,” the court added.
The top court also upheld the August 18, 1992 notification that was issued under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, disallowing the clearing or breaking up of land not ordinarily under cultivation.
“Permission to break the land for cultivation could be permitted by the Divisional Forest Officer, Faridabad Forest Division. In any event, construction activity could not be permitted even by the Divisional Forest Officer,” it said.
The bench also asked the firm to return the entire investment made by people who had received the land, with interest at the rate of 18%. However, in a reprive for those who already constructed on purchased land, the court accepted the suggestion made by the Haryana Chief Secretary in a 2009 affidavit. The suggestion was that constructions carried out between April 17, 1984 and August 18, 1992 be permitted to continue. It asked the state government to demolish constructions that were carried out after August 18, 1992.
“The demolition should be completed on or before December 31, 2018,” the court ordered.
The court also asked the firm as well as and Country Department to pay Rs 50 lakhs for each constructions that are to be demolished before December 31.