Transplantation of every felled Trees is mandatory for Local bodies
After having a plain reading of The Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection & Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, I found that transplanting of every felled Tree is mandatory for Tree Authority of that Local body and this duty has nothing to do with the duty of a man who has a responsibility of planting another Tree in lieu of Tree that he proposes to fell.
I request my friends to keep watch in their locality as if any notice been put up on the Trees for being cut. Also, this is to inform that how the local bodies play foul. I have caught red handed a municipal official pasting notices on Trees, taking photograph and immediately removing the notice. You will never know and the green will disappear in the midnight. To check this, a Letter may be sent to the Chairman of Tree Authority who is ususally the Head of the Local Body, objecting to any proposal of Tree removal in your area. Ask them to give you a personal hearing before they proceed to grant permission for removal of any Tree. At hearing, tell them to record your objections in writing.
There is one Tree Authority in every Local Body.
A PIL has been filed by Awwaz Foundation in Bombay High Court in this matter.
Pls find my Letter to the Chairman of Tree Authority in this regard.
C/O Janhit Manch,
Kuber Bhuvan, Bajaj Rd, Vile Parle West
Cell-09322671212; Email- commonlaw12321@...
Shri Jairaj Phatak sab,
The Hon.Chairman of the Tree Authority, and
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai,
Mumbai C.S.T.- 400 001.
Subject: Strict implementation of section 7(e) of The Trees Act, 1975, which mandates that every felled tree must and shall be transplanted by Tree Authority.
With reference to above, most respectfully, I crave leave to state few things.
Having a plain reading of section 7 (e) of The Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection & Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, whether read with Preamble of the Act or not, it can safely be said that every felled Tree has to be transplanted.
Section 8(5) prescribes that where a Tree Authority grant permission for feeling of a Tree on an Application so received, the Applicant shall Plant another Tree and or abide by other provisions as stated in the Act. That been the case, the Tree Authority is not in anyway absolved of its responsibility of transplanting the felled Tree.
The language of Section 7 (e) is pretty clear that Tree Authority shall ensure transplanting of every felled tree and this duty has nothing to do with the Applicant planting another Tree in lieu of felled Tree. [Section 7(e)- Notwithstanding anything contained in the relevant Act or in any other law for the time being in force, and subject to any special or general directions given by the State Govt, the Tree Authority SHALL be responsible for- transplanting of Trees necessitated by construction of new roads or widening of existing roads or for safeguarding danger to life or property.]
Though it is improper to allege uninformed, informal sources suggests that very few felled Trees are transplanted. This is a prima facie violation of the plain letter of the law.
In the present Constitutional democratic set up we all Indians live in, the Laws made and passed by the Parliament and the State Legislatures represents the wishes and ambitions of we the people of India.
All laws, of any nature, whether Prohibitive or Regulatory or laws conferring Rights and Privileges, has only one objective to serve and that is creation of a better environment for everyone, individually and collectively, in an ever evolving society.
Every letter of the law so exist is the collective wisdom of the Representatives of the people. It is presumed that legislatures do not waste words and there is no surplussage in Statutes.
All Statutes or Laws so made and passed by Legislatures is to remedy the ill that has plagued the society.
All Statutes comes into being with some policy and objective to be achieved.
Every statutory provision in a Statute comes into being after due deliberation and every letter of the law is employed with great caution and care; and with some purpose.
It is even not open to the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts to act or give judgments in deviation from established laws.
It may be beyond one’s wisdom to anticipate nor it is necessary for one to outline the consequences that may occasion due to patent violation of a statutory provision, for the consequences have already been deliberated at the time of passing of the statutory provision. It is suffice if one merely seeks the bare observance of the letter of the law in the spirit inherent in the letter of the law and preamble of the Statute.
As everyone says that we live in a Rule of Law society. What we really mean by Rule of Law is that the Law which is established must be observed in all the circumstances except in cases where the Law itself is absurd and or arbitrary.
Every letter of the Law must be observed with due respect, unless the same is declared by the competent Court of Jurisdiction as manifestly arbitrary and or absurd.
Therefore, in the light of submissions so made here, the applicant earnestly request the Hon. Chairman of Tree Authority to ensure that it should become the practice of Tree Authority that in cases where, after following the due process of law, the Tree Authority grant permission for felling a Tree, the Tree so felled must be transplanted. In the nutshell, every felled Tree must be transplanted.
Sandeep Jalan.[B Com, LLB]
The Superintendent of Gardens,
Jeejamata Udyaan, Byculla, Mumbai.
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