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You will be in trouble if Aravalli or PLPA touched, SC warns Haryana

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You will be in trouble if Aravalli or PLPA touched, SC warns Haryana
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday warned the Haryana government that it would be in "trouble" if it tried to interfere in the Aravalli ranges, its forest cover or top court's order on razing unauthorised dwellings in the posh locality Kant Enclave on the outskirts of the national capital.

The court has sought from the state government a copy of the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019.

In the last hearing in the case on March 1 as well, the apex court had sought a copy of the Bill and directed the Haryana government "not to act under the Amendment Act without its permission".

on Friday, a bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta told the state government, "In case, Aravalli, its forest cover, the Punjab Land Preservation Act, or Kant Enclave is interfered with, you will be in trouble."

The court conveyed its stern position after Haryana government's counsel Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought to dispel the impression that the amendment to the Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019 was aimed at taking away the protection of the Aravalli ranges.

The Punjab Land Preservation (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2019, amending the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900 was passed by the Haryana Assembly on February 27.

The Bill takes the protection cover off the Aravalis and Shivaliks exposing nearly 28,000 acres of land in Gurugram, Faridabad and seven other districts adjoining the national capital to private builders and land sharks.

However, Mehta said what was being told to the court was based on newspaper reports which did not depict the correct position. "There is no Act. It is still a Bill. It is before the Governor," said Mehta.

Contesting Haryana government's position, senior counsel and amicus curiae on environment matters Ranjit Kumar told the court that the Bill seeks to do what has been reported in the media. "It (amendment) has been made retrospective from 1966," Kumar said.

Facing strong resistance, Mehta asked Kumar who he was appearing for.

Kumar replied that he was amicus curiae in the matter, after which Justice Mishra told Solicitor General Mehta, "You are also supposed to be the amicus of the court and not the counsel for Haryana. You are first the amicus of the court."

Granting three weeks time to place the amended law before it, the court posted the next hearing for the first week of April.

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