Mumbai News: Thane Court Evicts Villagers, Says Forests Must Be Protected

Mumbai News: Thane Court Evicts Villagers, Says Forests Must Be Protected

The court, while rejecting the plea, noted that if the villagers’ illegal activities were not stopped, it would lead to loss of forest cover.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 02:42 AM IST
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Thane Session Court | Representative Image

The sessions court in Thane has refused to grant protection to a group of villagers who had encroached on Forest Department land, and asked the department to take steps to remove them.

While passing the orders, court maintained that merely because the villagers had been in possession of the land for more than 30 years did not mean that they possessed it legally.

Calling the villagers’ intentions mala fide, the court held, “This conduct shows the intentions to grab the government’s land. This needs to be deprecated.”

Legal Battle Between Villagers And Forest Department

Eleven villagers from Daighar village in Kalyan had approached the court against the department in 2010, seeking for relief of injunction. The villagers said that the department was trying to raise a wall right opposite their hotel and garage, thus obstructing their business. The plea said, “The Forest Department is trying to erect boundary wall in front of the hotel and garage of the villagers, with an intention to harass and obstruct their business and without giving them an opportunity of hearing.”

“The villagers are encroachers and have violated the provisions of the Indian Forests Act, 1927,” the department said in its reply. “They are trespassers over the property and time to time, action was taken against them, but still they continue with occupying the property illegally.”

Concerns Over Illegal Activities Threatening Forests

The court, while rejecting the plea, noted that if the villagers’ illegal activities were not stopped, it would lead to loss of forest cover.

“The habit of encroaching on government land and get it legalised is a day-to-day development among citizen... The said tendency needs to be deprecated otherwise very soon future generations will see forests only in posters. The earth will be without forests, which could ultimately result in diminishing the wildlife and biodiversity,” it said.

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