Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding forest land encroachment in Mehrauli, Delhi, 09/11/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Dr. Amarjit Singh Nalwa & Others Vs The State of NCT Delhi & Others dated 09/11/2020. The issue for consideration is remedial action against failure to remove encroachment from forest land inspite of order of the NGT December 11, 2015 at certain locations in South Delhi.

The matter has been earlier considered in the light of the status reports filed by the Deputy Commissioner, South District, Delhi Government. The status report shows that there are about 5000 encroachers and 750-800 structures set up illegally over a period of time at one camp and about 3000 encroachers are living at another camp in Mehrauli. Huge forest land has been encroached.

The NGT said that while removing such encroachment is a challenge but "if the Rule of Law is not to be enforced, we will have lawless society". The court said that forest laws can be defeated by allowing encroachments and then the authorities pleading helplessness in enforcing the law. The NGT directed that further action be taken according to law and status report as on March 31, 2021 must be filed before April 19, 2021.