Delhi HC asks to implead environment secy in plea challenging Rs 4.2 lakh penalty on vice principal for tree felling
The Vice Principal of a Government school has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a penalty of Rs 4.20 lakh by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) for felling trees allegedly without permission. He has also challenged the proceedings in the matter.
The Vice Principal of a Government school has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a penalty of Rs 4.20 lakh by the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) for felling trees allegedly without permission. He has also challenged the proceedings in the matter. Justice Yashwant Varma directed the counsel for Delhi Government to take instructions in the matter.
The bench has also directed not to take coercive action against the petitioner till the next date of hearing. The matter has been listed on November 3, 2022. The bench has directed the petitioner's counsel to implead Principal Secretary (Environment and Forest) of Delhi Government as an appeal is pending before him.
Advocate Arun Panwar, the counsel for petitioner Dr. Sunil Kumar Arora submitted before the court that the penalty was imposed on the petitioner who is a school principal. He can't pay this amount. The counsel submitted that the six trees were felled with the permission of PWD. Despite this a penalty was imposed and proceedings against the petitioner were initiated. He has filed an appeal against these orders which is pending before secretary environment, the appellate authority.
During the hearing the bench observed, "It was an intimation only. You didn't obtain the permission to fell the trees." The petitioner Dr Sunil Kumar Arora has moved a petition seeking quashing and setting aside the order of February 25, 2022, passed by Tree Officer /DCF (North Division). He has also sought a direction for quashing and setting aside the
subsequent proceeding / notice of April 26, 2022 and June 20, 2022 passed by Tehsildar (Saraswati Vihar) and SDM (Saraswati Vihar) respectively. The petitioner contended that the DCF has illegally and without
considering the reply and material and documents on record passed the order of February 25, 2022 whereby directing the petitioner to deposit Rs.4,20,000. DCF has also directed the petitioner to plant 50 trees of minimum height of 6 feet.
The petitioner is Vice-Principal and in the absence of Principal has been serving as a HOS (Head of School) in Govt. Co-Ed.
Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, Rampura, New Delhi and has been serving on the said post, in the present school since August 18, 2020. The petitioner submitted that the decision of pruning of trees and felling of trees which have been dried up, withered and eaten by termites was taken in School Management Committee (SMC) meeting on September 30, 2020. These trees had become dangerous for children and teachers in the school.
The petitioner also submitted that a permission for cutting the tree was sought from PWD. Subsequently the trees were cut down on December 7, 2020 by a private contractor who came with the copy of receiving and stamp of PWD. The letter for permission was written of December 5, 2020 by the petitioner. (ANI)
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