5 Lakhs Residents of Forest Land gets relief through Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has provided major relief to almost 5 Lakhs residents of the Bhandup - Mulund- Thane and the Borivali - Kandivali and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, through a historic judgment. The SC set aside the High Court Judgment stating that their homes were built on forest land.

The SC bench comprised three justices – R.M. Loddha, Madan B Lokur and Kurien Joseph. In its judgment the bench observed that a tertiary question that arises assuming the disputed lands are forests lands, can the state be allowed to demolish the massive constructions made thereon over the last half century. Going by the  facts and circumstances of the appeals the bench said that their answer to this question is also in the negative. In its appeal the BMC had claimed that the flats are constructed on a land with an extent of 3000 acres which comes under the Forest Conservation Act.
The bench further observed that looking at the entire case over the decades there were lot of ups and downs in the judgment passed. While looking at the issue from the residents point of view, the bench of justice said the companies and the residents residing there cannot be punished for complete inaction of the State. The bench also said the entire problem cannot be looked from the State's perspective. Slamming the state government the court underlined it that it was state responsibility to ensure laws were implemented with reasonable dispatch.

Godrej & Boyce owns approximately 133 acres of land in Vikhroli that will be unlocked for potential development in partnership with Godrej Properties. We already have exciting plans for development in Vikhroli and this will further enhance the scale of development." Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group said, "We are happy to note the favorable judgment of the Supreme Court in the Mumbai forest land matter.

The Apex Court the order also cleared the decks for developers and residents to go ahead with their stalled residential, industrial and commercial projects in the area.

The bench judgment ended by saying "basic principal of good governance must be followed by every member of the Executive Branch of the state all times.