A special bench of the Bombay High Court on Saturday refused to stay the judgment of the High Court pronounced yesterday dismissing all petitions challenging cutting of trees at Aarey Colony for the Metro Car Shed project.
The bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice AK Menon was specially constituted to hear an application filed by the petitioners who sought a stay in order to file appeal before the Supreme Court.
According to the petitioners almost 300 trees have already been cut since yesterday and Section 144 has been imposed in the area.
Petitioners argued that when these petitions were filed, Advocate General appearing for MMRCL had assured the bench comprising of Chief Justice and Justice Bharti Dangre that MMRCL is not in a hurry to cut trees. Therefore, no stay order was passed by the Court.
Thereafter, on October 4 when the bench dismissed all petitions challenging Tree Authority's resolution to cut 2646 trees, petitioners claim that an oral request was made to stay the operation of the said judgment so that cutting of trees can be prevented, however, the said request was orally rejected by the Court saying that it expected that the authorities would not take any action immediately.
As the Supreme Court is closed for Dussehra Holidays from October 7 to October 11, the petitioners reasoned that High Court may grant a stay so that no harm is caused to trees in the Aarey colony otherwise the proposed Special Leave Petitions before the apex court would become infructuous.
"Once all the substantive proceedings are dismissed, it would not be proper to pass any restraint order and merely on a praecipe. There is nothing on record to show that any request was made to stay the operation, implementation and enforcement of the judgment and order, nor any specific restraint was sought. We cannot proceed on any oral understanding. Merely because another Bench is constituted, it would not be proper to grant any relief. The nature of the relief is such that if it is granted, that would directly contravene the observations, findings and conclusions in the detailed judgment."
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