New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday permitted traders to carry on their business activities, including erecting tents and pandals for marriage functions and parties, on forest land in Haryana.
A forest bench comprising justices A K Patnaik, S S Nijjar and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla gave the interim relief to the traders who approached the apex court against an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
The NGT, in its order, had said, "It is clear that indisputably non-forest activities are going on in the forest area. Not only non-forest activities but also commercial, industrial and even liquor shops are existing therein which are injurious to the conservation of forest.
"In view of the above indisputed position we hereby restrain carrying on any non-forest activities as above in the forest area declared in accordance with Notification dated 18th August, 1992 till the next date of hearing."
The green panel had also asked Haryana Pollution Control Board, and the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to ensure compliance of its order.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for some Faridabad-based traders including Narinder Singh, said that the NGT has exceeded its jurisdiction in passing the order and the aggrieved parties be allowed to carry on their business activities.
"So called public spirited citizen moves the NGT and allege non-forest activities on forest land without any basis," he said, adding that as the consequence of the order in the matter, the appellants, involved in the business of organising marriage and other parties, are suffering...
"It seems NGT is very active," the bench said, adding "Alright, we will permit you to carry on your business activities."