In the long pending case of Kant Enclave, the Supreme Court, today held that land on which the proposed colony is located is a forest land. The court then ordered that all the construction in the region carried out after August 18, 1992 must be demolished before December 31st, 2018. A Bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta held R Kant & Co, which carried out construction in the area, and Haryana Town & Country Planning Department responsible for the issue. The court said their actions had caused “irreversible” damage to the Aravalli hills.
The bench upheld the August 18, 1992 notification issued under the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, prohibiting the clearing or breaking up of land not ordinarily under cultivation. The court ordered the company to refund the entire investment made by people who had got land from it, with interest at the rate of 18%. However, it also made some exception for those constructions that were carried out between April 17, 1984 and August 18, 1992.
The Court also directed that for constructions that are to be demolished, the R Kant & Co. and the Town and Country Department will jointly pay them Rs 50 lakh for each construction before December 31. Additionally, holding R Kant & Co. as the main polluter, the court it to pay Rs 5 crore for “irreversible damage” caused to the Aravalli hills. The Court asked that the amount should be deposited within one month and in any case on or before October 31, 2018.
Though, the Bench lashed out at Haryana Government and said that the state authorities moulded the rule of law to favour certain set of people only. However, the Court did not penalise the authorities for all the misconduct and its lackadaisical behaviour.